Backpacking

“I find that in contemplating the natural world my pleasure is greater if there are not too many others
contemplating it with me, at the same time.” –Edward Abbey

Almost 95% of Yosemite is designated Wilderness, offering endless opportunities for adventure, solitude, and connection. In order to protect these wild places and provide an outstanding hiking experience, wilderness permits are required for all overnight trips.

Use the resources on this page to start planning your trip, find important information about safety and regulations, and learn how to apply for your wilderness permit.

 

Plan Your Wilderness Trip

Where to Go

 
Cathedral Peak rises beyond one of the Cathedral Lakes

Trail Descriptions

Not sure where to start? Explore common backpacking routes to find the right trip for your interests, time frame, and abilities.

Liberty Cap and Nevada Fall in the distance, with a trail in the foreground

Trailhead Information

Which trailhead will you need a permit for? Browse the full list of wilderness trailheads and the daily permit quota for each.

 

When to Go

 
The narrow, rocky trail to Cloud's Rest

Seasons in Yosemite

Each season offers its own benefits and challenges, and trail accessibility varies depending on the time of year.

A hiker in warm jacket and hat overlooks high country scenery at sunset

Backpacking in Winter and Spring

Snow can usually be found in the park from November through May. Learn what to expect and how to have a safe, enjoyable trip.

A hiker stands on a trail near Cathedral Lakes

Current Trail Conditions

Check for current wilderness conditions and permit station information.

 
Two tents and campers overlook the high country, with Half Dome and a lake in the background.

Applying for a Wilderness Permit

Wilderness permits are required for all overnight hikes. Learn how and when to apply for a permit.

 

Know Before You Go

 
A river flows over granite and through trees in the high country.

Leave No Trace Ethics

Guidelines for enjoying and protecting wild spaces.

A backpack and trekking poles sit on a granite ledge overlooking Yosemite Valley

Wilderness Safety

Tips for a safe and enjoyable wilderness trip.

A mother bear and three cubs walk along the edge of a river.

Food Storage

All scented items must be stored in a bear-resistant container or locker.

A lake on the eastern boundary of the park, overlooking the desert beyond.

Wilderness Regulations

What is allowed in wilderness areas?

 

Last updated: February 23, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 577
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

Phone:

(209) 372-0200

Contact Us