Wilderness Permit Reservations

Wilderness permit reservations are processed by lottery 24 weeks (168 days) in advance of the hiking start date. You can fax your reservation application 169 days in advance for consideration the next day. The deadline for the lottery is at 7:30 am Pacific time, 168 days in advance. Since reservations are awarded by lottery, it doesn't matter what time we receive your application, as long as it's not more than 169 days in advance and not later than 7:30 am Pacific time, 168 days in advance.

You may also request a reservation fewer than 168 days in advance (but not fewer than two days in advance), although popular trailheads fill up the first day reservations are available..

We will send an email indicating whether your application was successful or not within 24 hours of the processing date.

Reservations requested by phone are processed after the lottery. For inclusion in the lottery, fax your application.

Confirmed reservations cost $5 plus $5 per person (there's no charge for applying if you don't receive a reservation). Do not submit more than one application per request or group each day: this will not increase your chances of winning the lottery. If you (or your group members) apply multiple times for the same request or group, your request will be excluded from the lottery and subject to a non-refundable fee. (You can submit additional applications for other dates as long as you only submit one application per day.)

Even with a reservation, you, or another member of your hiking group, must pick up the wilderness permit at any permit station during business hours the day of, or the day before, your hike. Reserved permits are held until 10 am on the day of your trip. If you will arrive later than 10 am on the day of your trip, call us to hold your permit for a late arrival: 209/372-0308 (this number is for cancellations and late arrivals only). Otherwise, your permit reservation will be canceled. Permits held for late arrival still must be picked up at a permit station during business hours. (You can check current hours for permit stations at the bottom of the wilderness conditions update.)

If your itinerary will include hiking to Half Dome or exiting Yosemite over Donohue Pass (leaving Yosemite via the John Muir Trail), be sure to specify this when you make your reservation request.

Due to very high demand, over 97% of all John Muir Trail through-hike permit applications are denied. (The reservation office receives hundreds of JMT requests each day.)

Three Ways to Make a Reservation

The reservation office accepts reservations for trips for May through October. Reservations are not necessary for trips during November through April.

Fax (best)

Please read the detailed instructions, then complete the reservation form [300 kb PDF] on your computer. You can then print and fax the form, or use an online service to fax the form from your computer. Send the completed form to 209/372-0739. Do not email this form.

John Muir Trail Hikers (exiting Yosemite over Donohue Pass): If you are flexible on the start date for your trip, you can submit one application for a longer range of dates.

If you provide a legible email address, you will receive an email within 24 hours stating whether your request was confirmed or denied. If you do not provide an email address, it may take up to two weeks to receive a confirmation or denial letter by mail. If you would like to request a reservation for a departure date within the next two weeks, it is best to apply by phone.

Phone

While faxing is the best method of requesting a reservation, if you call for a reservation, have this information ready:

  • The name the permit will be under
  • Mailing address
  • Daytime telephone number
  • Email address
  • Number of people
  • Number of stock (horses, mules, llamas)
  • Start and end dates
  • Beginning and ending trailheads
  • Principal destination (to help us ensure you're choosing the correct trailhead)
  • Method of payment ($5 plus $5/person): credit card or check.

Plan your trip before you make a reservation. It is your responsibility to research trails and trail conditions to decide which trip is right for you and your group. Park rangers will not plan your trip for you.

Hours

  • Mid-November to Memorial Day: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

  • Memorial Day to Labor Day: Monday-Friday, 8 am to 5 pm and Saturday-Sunday, 9 am to 4 pm

  • September (after Labor Day): Monday-Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

  • October to mid-November: Closed

    (Memorial Day is the last Monday in May. Labor Day is the first Monday in September.)

You can reach us at 209/372-0740. The reservation phone line is very busy, especially January through March and around holiday weekends. If possible, fax your request.

Mail

Complete and print the reservation form [300 kb PDF]. (For detailed instructions on how to fill out the form, read the instruction sheet. Send the form with payment to:

Wilderness Permits
PO Box 545
Yosemite, CA, 95389.

Make checks payable to Yosemite Conservancy. All major credit cards are accepted. Do not send cash. Please allow two days after the processing date to receive a response by email (or two weeks by mail if you do not provide an email address). Applications received more than two weeks in advance of the earliest reservation date (that is, more than 26 weeks in advance of the hiking date) will not be accepted.

Reservation Changes

If space is available within the same season, you can request a change to your existing reservation's date or trailhead for an additional processing fee of $5. If you have questions regarding your reservation or would like to make changes to an existing reservation, call 209/372-0740. The reservation office is unable to correspond by email or fax. Processing fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

 

Reservation Requests

As you can see below, the reservation office gets a lot of faxes! For this reason, we can't confirm receipt of faxes.

 
Graph showing major increase in reservation requests
Graph showing the number of wilderness permit reservation faxes received since 2012.
2012-2014: Peaks during February at about 100-150 faxes per day
2015: Peaks at about 400 faxes per day in February and early March
2016: Peaks near 700 faxes per day in mid-February (above 400 per day from mid-January to mid-March)
 
Graph showing wilderness permit requests received sinec 2012, showing a steady increase each year and an increase of about 25 times for JMT permits

Last updated: April 9, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 577
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

Phone:

(209) 372-0200

Contact Us