Kachina Wilderness Winter Permits (Mt Humphrey's etc)

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Al_HikesAZ
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Kachina Wilderness Winter Permits (Mt Humphrey's etc)

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Mar 19 2006 2:18 pm

If you are thinking about hiking/snowshoeing in the Mount Humphrey's / Kachina Peaks Wilderness Area, keep in mind that backcountry permits are required in the Winter.

http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/passes/index.shtml#bc

Backcountry Permits Necessary in Winter only
Kachina Peaks Wilderness Access permits, commonly known as backcountry permits, required in winter for access to the Kachina Peaks Wilderness area, are now available at the Peaks and Mormon Lake Ranger Districts weekdays from 7:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday at Agassiz Lodge at the Arizona Snowbowl from 9 to 11 a.m..

This free permit is designed to help inform backcountry snow recreationists about travel hazards, and to assist the Forest Service and the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office with search and rescue should that become necessary. Permits are only required for accessing the backcountry from Arizona Snowbowl and the Snowbowl Road.

Backcountry permits are valid for the entire winter and are designed for snowshoers, cross-country skiers and snowboarders using the Kachina Peaks Wilderness. Permits are required to be displayed in the front windshield of the permit holder’s vehicle if the vehicle is parked at the Lamar Haines trailhead, the entrance of the Freidlein Prairie Road (Forest Road 522) or the Arizona Snowbowl Ski Area.

In addition to having a permit, backcountry campers, skiers and snowboarders who launch their trip from the Ski Area or the Snowbowl Road also need to enter information in one of three trip registers. The Coconino National Forest added a new trip register location at the Lamar Haines trailhead on Snowbowl Road last year. The others are at the ticket window at the Hart Prairie Lodge and near the top of the Agassiz chairlift.
“We want people to enjoy backcountry winter activities—but with a high degree of safety,” said Steve Jenner, snow ranger for the Peaks Ranger District. “The information we’re asking for is intended to help people avoid dangers associated with avalanches and hypothermia. When someone reads the hazard warnings on the permit, it usually makes them stop and think for a few moments, and this is often exactly what is needed to introduce the element of caution that can save a person’s life.”

Backcountry permits, which again are free of charge, are available at the Peaks or the Mormon Lake Ranger Stations during the week. Once the Arizona Snowbowl opens, permits may also be obtained at the ticket window at the Agassiz Lodge on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 9:00 AM until 11:00 AM. For more information, call the Peaks Ranger Station at (928) 526-0866 or the Mormon Lake Ranger Station at (928) 774-1147.

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Winter Permits for Humphreys?

Post by osatrik » Sep 28 2006 10:24 pm

Does "winter" mean December 21 and on, or does it mean when there is snow on the ground?

Also, what it the typical (?) opening date for the ski area?

I'm planning on a Grand Canyon hike in early December, and stopping by Flagstaff on the way to go up Humphreys.

Thanks,
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Re: Winter Permits for Humphreys?

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Sep 29 2006 10:55 am

osatrik wrote:Does "winter" mean December 21 and on, or does it mean when there is snow on the ground?

Also, what it the typical (?) opening date for the ski area?

I'm planning on a Grand Canyon hike in early December, and stopping by Flagstaff on the way to go up Humphreys.
1) No "set" date. They start the permit process whenever the Snow Bowl opens for the winter(closes for the summer). Usually (hopefully? :D ) early to mid-December.
2) Typical is mid-December, but this past season they did not open until February, 2006.

In the past it has been when the Snow Bowl opens for the season. I don't know the status of the snow-making issue and I don't know how that might affect the permit situation.
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Post by Turkish » Oct 01 2006 7:00 pm

I definitely hope there is plenty of snow this season. I plan on a winter time ascent of The Hump and hopefully Agassiz.
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Re: Winter Permits for Humphreys?

Post by arizonatribe » Oct 01 2006 8:48 pm

In response to osatrik's reply:
I seem to remember from 04-05 that our first 1ft+ snowfall hit October 15th 2004 and last snow disappeard in May 05. Winter never really stops on the peaks unless drought permits.

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Re: Kachina Wilderness Winter Permits (Mt Humphrey's etc)

Post by Sredfield » Dec 26 2012 7:08 pm

A related question--how deep is the snow up there now, it is snowshoe conditions yet? Thanks
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Re: Kachina Wilderness Winter Permits (Mt Humphrey's etc)

Post by BobP » Dec 27 2012 8:05 am

Sredfield wrote:A related question--how deep is the snow up there now, it is snowshoe conditions yet? Thanks
I was at NAU yesterday and there was lots of snow in town. The mountain has a 3 foot base so you can snowshoe. I would guess the snow is pretty hard because it was wicked cold out. It was 17 degrees in town in late morning. No snowballs could be made to throw at my kids ;) . There is snow in the forecast of 1-3 inches.
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Re: Kachina Wilderness Winter Permits (Mt Humphrey's etc)

Post by joebartels » Oct 11 2019 3:07 pm

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., Oct. 11, 2019 — Visitors are no longer required to obtain a Winter Backcountry Kachina Peaks Wilderness Permit to enter the Kachina Peaks Wilderness area near Arizona Snowbowl Resort during winter months.

Instead of issuing permits, Forest Service personnel will focus on winter backcountry travel education and outreach using digital media, on-the-ground contacts, and through partners such as the Kachina Peaks Avalanche Center and volunteers.

Although backcountry permits are no longer required, individuals leaving the ski area during winter months are encouraged to get the necessary education, visit the Kachina Peaks Avalanche Center website, and inform someone of their travel plans.

The permit, along with a safety brochure, originated in 1997 as a step to educate visitors on avalanche and winter travel safety following the only avalanche fatality in Arizona, which occurred in 1995. With the advent of the Internet and information readily available online via the avalanche center website, as well as the Coconino National Forest Outdoor Safety web page, visitors have access to all the information necessary to make safe decisions.

The Forest Service will utilize staff and volunteers to contact visitors at ski area portals into the wilderness during expected high-use times. The objective of these contacts will be to ensure visitors know the hazards, know how to prepare themselves, and ensure they have developed a travel plan known to others in case of emergencies.
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Re: Kachina Wilderness Winter Permits (Mt Humphrey's etc)

Post by Jim_H » Oct 12 2019 6:46 am

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/coconino ... EPRD672382

Initially the USFS did not have this up on their own website, but it was put up yesterday after I sent an email inquiring about it on the 15th. I checked and it was not there earlier in the day, despite being dated to the 11th. It is now.
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Re: Kachina Wilderness Winter Permits (Mt Humphrey's etc)

Post by chumley » Oct 13 2019 7:06 pm

Maybe the FS will revisit other old forest orders that don't make any sense anymore ... like bald eagle nesting closure areas, for example. The species has fully recovered from its endangered status when such closures were implemented and there are now healthy, breeding pairs all over the state, totally unaffected by people floating by in a canoe, or whatever.
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