Reservations are available 24 weeks (168 days) in advance when the wilderness permit reservation office is open (mid-November through September). Each morning, the reservation office processes faxes before accepting phone calls. Sending your request by fax increases your chances of success.
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.)
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.
Complete the reservation form [272 kb PDF] on your computer, then print and fax, or use an online service to fax, it to 209/372-0739. (View detailed instructions). Do not email this form (never send credit card information by email). Find the earliest date you can send your request by fax.
Attention 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.
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.
Complete and print the reservation form [272 KB PDF]. (For detailed instructions on how to fill out the form, read the instruction sheet [205 KB PDF]). Send the form with payment to:
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.
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.