Into The Wild At Wilderness National Park [WORK]
On September 6, 1992, moose hunters found the emaciated body of a 24-year-old named Christopher McCandless inside a rusted green and white bus near the northern end of Denali National Park in Alaska. In a journey that was made famous by the bestselling 1996 book Into the Wild and the subsequent 2007 film adaptation, McCandless traveled across the country from his parents' home in the affluent suburbs of Washington, D.C. and through the wilderness until he came across that bus, which would be his final resting place. His individualist spirit and desire to leave the outside world made him a hero to many.
Into the wild at Wilderness National Park
But after three months of living off of game, local plants and a ten-pound bag of rice, McCandless decided to return to society, only to find that summer meltwater had transformed the Teklanika into a raging torrent. Trapped in the wild by the river, McCandless retreated to the bus and, over the course of the next month or so, starved to death.
A wilderness permit is required year-round for backpacking, overnight climbing, or any other overnight stay in the Yosemite Wilderness. A wilderness permit is not required for day hikes (unless hiking to Half Dome) or for staying in lodging facilities and frontcountry campgrounds.
Wilderness permits are only issued to a limited number people for each trailhead in order to provide outstanding opportunities for solitude, as required by the Wilderness Act. Since many trails are very popular, reservations are recommended. Of each daily quota for a trailhead, 60 percent can be reserved ahead of time. Normally, 40 percent of wilderness permits are available on a first-come, first-served basis at park wilderness centers. Instead, in 2022, this portion of wilderness permit reservations will be available online 7 days in advance and up to three days in advance. See below for more information.
Sixy percent of wilderness permit reservations become available by lottery 24 weeks in advance. Of this portion, any reservations that remain become available on a first-come, first-served basis after the lottery process is complete for that week's reservations up until seven days in advance.
From November through April, wilderness permits are still required. You can get a wilderness permit the day before or day you intend to start your hike at the permit issuing station nearest the trailhead. While trailhead quotas are still in effect, most trailheads don't fill up. Bear canisters are only available for rental at the Valley Visitor Center.
The trailhead quota system limits use based on where you begin your hike, and in some cases, on where you camp the first night of your trip. After the first night, you may camp wherever you can hike to within the wilderness.
Since there are only a few designated campgrounds, you can camp anywhere you like, provided you follow all wilderness regulations. The exceptions are near the five High Sierra Camps and in the Little Yosemite Valley area, where you must you camp at the designated campgrounds.
You can add another person to your wilderness permit reservation for an additional fee if space is still available for that trailhead. To do this, log on to your Recreation.gov account and modify your reservation.
If you are starting a hike from a trailhead located outside of Yosemite National Park, obtain your permit from the trailhead's managing agency, even if camping in Yosemite. Only one permit is required. Even if you plan to spend every night of a Wilderness trip inside Yosemite but your entry trailhead is outside Yosemite, you do not get the permit from Yosemite. If you are starting at a trailhead in Yosemite and wish to camp outside of Yosemite during your Wilderness trip, you will only need to get a single wilderness permit from Yosemite.
Wilderness permits issued by Yosemite National Park are the only wilderness permits valid to exit Yosemite via Donohue Pass. If you are starting your trip outside of Yosemite to exit Yosemite via Donohue Pass, you'll need an additional wilderness permit issued by Yosemite National Park. The only two trailheads that allow a Donohue Pass exit are Happy Isles pass-through (Donohue Pass eligible) and Lyell Canyon (Donohue Pass eligible).
Continuous travel is a condition of a wilderness itinerary in which the user travels from a Yosemite National Park entry trailhead to the exit trailhead during the dates specified in the permit. Exiting the wilderness at any time during a wilderness itinerary invalidates the wilderness permit. In order to continue backpacking, you would need a new wilderness permit. There are two exceptions:
Can't find your question here? We have more answers to frequently asked questions. You can also speak to a wilderness ranger by calling 209/372-0826 (Monday through Friday, 9 am to noon and 1 to 4:30 pm, typically from March through early October).
The Yosemite Wilderness has over 750 miles of trail to explore with a great range of elevation, ecological zones, and solitude. This backpacking trip, be it your first or fortieth, is a uniquely protected opportunity to provide maximum freedom to roam in wilderness. So, in planning a trip, it is important to find the right experience for your interests, timeframe, and abilities. A good planning process will enhance your understanding of the park and your safety. Therefore, as part of the wilderness experience, park rangers can provide general guidance but will not plan a wilderness trip for you; you must plan your own trip. Use our trailhead descriptions and other resources you've found on this site, look at maps, and get planning!
National parks tend to be large swaths of land that protect a variety of resources, including natural and historic features. National parks can only be created by Congress -- our first national park was Yellowstone -- and are managed by the National Park Service. National parks strive to keep landscapes unimpaired for future generations while offering recreation opportunities.
While national wildlife refuges work to safeguard wildlife populations and their habitats, more than 500 of them provide a wealth of recreation opportunities, including hiking trails, canoeing and kayaking, auto tours, wildlife viewing, hunting, fishing and more! These natural treasure troves see more than 50 million visits from the public each year.
National monuments protect a specific natural, cultural or historic feature. These could be places like Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming or Illinois's Pullman National Monument. Some special places -- like Grand Canyon, Badlands and Zion -- were first protected as national monuments before later becoming national parks.
The Bureau of Land Management also has 487 Wilderness Study Areas -- lands unspoiled by roads or other development that provide outstanding opportunities for solitude. Often these places have special ecological, geological or scenic values, like Handies Peak in Colorado or Slinkard in California. Some wilderness study areas have been designated as wilderness areas or national monuments, while others have been opened to non-wilderness uses.
There are several titles used for battlefields -- national military park, national battlefield park, national battlefield site and national battlefield -- but they all conserve our nation's military history. Protecting places like Shiloh National Military Park or Cowpens National Battlefield ensures that Americans can learn from our past.
National trails fall into one of three groups: scenic, historic and recreation. Congress designates national scenic trails (think the famous Appalachian National Scenic Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine) and national historic trails (like the Pony Express National Historic Trail, a historic route that spans eight states and symbolizes the spirit of the American West). When it comes to national recreation trails (including national water trails), the Secretary of the Interior or Agriculture can designate these in response to an application from the managing agency or organization.
The green and white bus, which is a 1940s original International Harvester, was once used for transportation through the Fairbanks City Transit System. Later on, the Yutan Construction Company purchased the bus, removed its engine, and turned it into a shelter. They installed a wood-burning stove and sleeping quarters for workers tasked with building an access road for trucks to transport ore from the surrounding mines.
The park also features a variety of captive animals such as alligators, black bears, red wolf, Key deer, flamingos, whooping cranes and the oldest hippopotamus in captivity. The native wildlife that reside in the park serve as ambassadors for their species, providing visitors face-to-face connections with the animals and their habitats. Each with a unique life story, all of the animal inhabitants are here for the same reason - they are unable to survive in the wild on their own.
Attention Restoration Theory (ART)  suggests that nature has specific restorative effects on the prefrontal cortex-mediated executive attentional system, which can become depleted with overuse. High levels of engagement with technology and multitasking place demands on executive attention to switch amongst tasks, maintain task goals, and inhibit irrelevant actions or cognitions. ART suggests that interactions with nature are particularly effective in replenishing depleted attentional resources. Our modern society is filled with sudden events (sirens, horns, ringing phones, alarms, television, etc.) that hijack attention. By contrast, natural environments are associated with a gentle, soft fascination, allowing the executive attentional system to replenish. In fact, early studies have found that interacting with nature (e.g., a wilderness hike) led to improvements in proof reading , control of Necker Cube pattern reversals , , and performance on the backwards digit span task . Laboratory-based studies have also reported that viewing slides of nature improved sustained attention  and the suppression of distracting information . However, the impact of more sustained exposure to natural environments on higher-level cognitive function such as creative problem solving has not been explored. 350c69d7ab