Wilderness Reservation System: Many No-Shows

Oregon Public Broadcasting has a story about the new wilderness entry reservation system in central Oregon.

Crowds are smaller, but no-shows have plagued Oregon wilderness permit system

“People who bought permits before the start of the season were less likely to show than people who bought them as they came available throughout the summer. Still, 27% of people who made reservations during seven-day rolling windows were also no-shows, according to the Forest Service data.”

Covid may be one factor.

This system was the subject of much debate at the Mt. Hood/Willamette RAC meetings in 2019 and 2020. Some RAC members objected to any fees, others to the problem of people unaware of the permit requirement arriving at a trailhead and facing illegal entry or backtracking to a location where the cell signal is strong enough to buy one online… if any remained available.


5 thoughts on “Wilderness Reservation System: Many No-Shows”

  1. I wonder if some of these were intentional. It occurs to me that an enterprising environmental group that just wants people out of these areas could just buy up all there permits and block anyone from visiting.

  2. Nice story. I wonder whether there are people who need to plan ahead (longer trips, coming from out of town) and locals (who can run up there anytime). But the plan aheads that change their minds use up the spaces. To me, it seems like getting my money back would be a strong motivation for cancelling my reservation… I wonder if that’s how it works?

    • This is from the Inyo website (and since it is about Recreation.gov I assume this is applicable everywhere). Maybe not often practical or not much incentive to cancel – note the plea – (and I’m remembering a conversation with someone who dealt with this and said as much).

      “Once confirmed, awarded trips may be cancelled with a refund of the permit fee up to 22 days before the trip. The $6 reservation fee is nonrefundable. There is no refund of the permit fee if the trip is cancelled within 21 days of the trip start date — no exceptions. If you are unable to use your permit, please take the time to cancel your reservation through Recreation.Gov or the NRRS reservation line, even when a refund is not due, so that another group will have a chance to book a permit.


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