Wilderness Permit Reservations

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.)

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 receive 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)

Complete the reservation form [130 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.

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 [130 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:

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

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 577
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

Phone:

(209) 372-0200
The public information office is open from 9 am to 5 pm Pacific time (closed for lunch). Once connected, dial 3 then 5. If the ranger is already on the line, you'll be returned to the main menu. If the ranger is not there, you can leave a message and we will return your call.

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