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Things You Will Need During Your Permit Application Process


*You will be applying for a Special Use Permit for Non Commercial Groups (free)

for an explanation about this permit, visit the USDA Forest Service page ,   click here


Permit Application:  Download at:

Purpose of Trek Statement for Permit: 

Important:  This statement should not include any religious overtones.

Sample "Purpose" Statement (This one was actually used):

For this activity we will be taking up to 120 youth from the Washington, Utah area to the Kaibab National Forest, to participate in an authentic Pioneer handcart trek.  They youth will pull their rations and essential supplies using authentic style wooden handcarts.  They will pull their carts for a distance of 13 miles and camp on the ground in sleeping bags, at night.  The purpose of this activity is to give the trek participants a greater insight into what their forefathers experienced as they migrated to the West.   Trekkers will be dressed in traditional Pioneer style clothing as they pull their handcarts along the trail, and we will try to incorporate  some of the Pioneer history and Native American traditions as they go.  Trekkers will prepare their meals using authentic Pioneer recipes,  authentic cooking equipment  and authentic cooking techniques. 


Certificate of Insurance for Permit - obtained from LDS Risk Management Division 50 E. North Temple St. Floor 16, SLC, UT  84150-3630 PHONE:  801-240-1589  FAX  801-240-1728

Liability.  The holder shall have in force liability insurance
      covering losses associated with the use and occupancy authorized by
      this permit arising from personal injury or death and third-party
      property damage in the minimum amount of  $300,000.00 as a combined
      single limit per occurrence.


Trek Route Map

Most US Forest Service lands are great places for pioneer treks because the land is
free to use, has plenty of good trekking trails, most of the terrain is similar to what the
pioneers encountered as they made their way West, there is ample camping space, and the
terrain is varied and well adapted to meet whatever type of trek you envision (from easy
to difficult).  Also, the USDA Forest Service typically will not give you resistance if you want to use horses on your trek.  Just be sure to bring only certified weed free feed for the animals.

Before you apply for your permit, you should have a general idea where you would like
to have your trek. If you would like to trek in the Strawberry Valley which is in the Uinta National
Forest, or in the Dixie National Forest, or North Kaibab National Forest, but you are unfamiliar with those areas, call Greg to arrange for a visit and/or to tour potential trekking routes for
your Stake. Greg will be happy to meet you there, to take you on a tour of potential trek
routes, taking into consideration all of the following:

While you are considering your trekking route, you should use a GPS to mark
coordinates for your camping sites, locations for porta potties, staging areas, parking
areas, and possible stops for vignettes, lunch breaks, etc., because eventually, you will
make a trek map. The Forest Rangers will probably request a detailed map at some
point during your application process, so GPS coordinates will help you a lot. And even if
the Ranger doesn't request a map, you and your committee will certainly need one.

Another consideration you should make when planning your trek route is an alternate
route for your support crew. It is likely that vehicles will need to transport equipment,
water, potties or whatever during the course of your trek. Having an alternate route for
this purpose keeps traffic away from your trekkers while they are making their way
along the trail. As you can imagine, vehicles dampen the spirit of trekkers, so it's best if
they are always out of sight. Ideally, you will be looking for a trail which has an out
shoot trail which can accommodate your support crew and other traffic.

List of Emergency Numbers

This list typically is provided to the Forest Service as part of your application process.  And even if they don't request it, it will be used by key trek committee members for safety.

This list typically includes the following numbers:

  • Forest Service
  • Police Department
  • Area Emergency Numbers (Police, Sherriff, Medical, Highway Patrol, Hospital)
  • Trek Coordinator (including cell numbers)
  • Satellite Phone Number
  • High Councilor over YM
  • High Councilor over YW
  • Stake Presidency Councilor over Youth



Post Trek Report

After your trek, you will send a Trek Report to the Ranger District Office which issued you the permit.  This report sums up the trek experience, offering gratitude toward the Forest Service, and includes a few details.  You should also include a few pictures.  **Keep in mind that this report should not include any religious overtones whatsoever.  It should also indicate any improvements your group made during your trek (such as trailside clean up activities). 

Sample "Post Trek" Report (This one was actually used):

Our Kaibab National Forest Authentic Pioneer Handcart Trek Experience

On June 14 – 16, 2007 The Buena Vista Youth from Washington, Utah area participated in an amazing journey in discovery, courage, obedience and endurance as they pushed and pulled small wooden handcarts carrying their essential supplies for survival across the beautiful trails in the Kaibab National Forest. 

Approximately 130 youth and 127 adults participated  in this authentic Pioneer handcart trek experience.  All of the young men and young women dressed in authentic pioneer clothing, pushed and pulled their wooden handcarts for a distance of 15 miles and camped under the stars 2 nights.  

The trekkers were divided into 15 families and each family pulled one cart.  Each trek family gathered the trash which they found along the roadsides as they made their journey.  By the end of the trek, trekkers collected approximately 15 – 20 pounds of trash per family for a total of about  275 pounds of trash, including but not limited to tires, mufflers and hubcaps.  All of the trash collected was properly disposed of in Washington Utah when trekkers returned home.

Although fire restrictions altered our food preparation plans, working with compressed gas and camp chefs worked out very well for the trekkers.  And even though campfires were missed, we found they were not necessary for a successful trek experience.

We sincerely appreciated the support from the Kaibab National Forest Rangers who assisted us in locating campsites which were perfectly suited to our goals and needs.  We also sincerely appreciate the fact that the Forest Service posted “reserved” signs at our campsites.  Both campsites worked out very well for us.  And we were attentive to the “Leave No Trace” policy.  We gave each trekker  “Leave No Trace” cards and  brochures so everyone knew what is required.  Also we conducted several ‘walk through’ inspections to make sure trekkers were in compliance with this policy. 

We thank the Forest Service for the opportunity to use the Kaibab National Forest for our pioneer handcart trek. The Kaibab National Forest was the perfect environment and the perfect setting providing the perfect experience for our young and courageous trekkers.  Our event was an amazing success and our young men and young women each gained so much from this incredible experience.  Thank you again! 





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