Wilderness permit 2022-06-27T10:07:10-04:00

Wilderness permits from Yosemite National Park

A wilderness permit is required to hike on the JMT, and it is important to note that there are entry and exit quotas which limit the number of hikers who can use this trail each day. Southbound (SOBO) hikers will need to apply for a permit through the Yosemite Conservancy. Applications are now accepted through an online application form and are accepted up to 170 days in advance of your starting date. Please consult the following websites to learn of this new application process for the 2019 season.

Entry Point Quotas

Each day, there are 45 permits (35 reservable, 10 walk-up) available for those who wish to hike the JMT starting from Yosemite. 20 of these reservable permits are available for the following trailheads (no walk-up permits are available):

  • Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley
  • Happy Isles pass-through
  • Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley
  • Sunrise Lakes

Additionally, one trailhead has 15 reservable permits, and 10 walk-up permits for JMT hikers:

  • Lyell Canyon

Each of these trailheads have a daily quota (that applies to both JMT and non-JMT hikers), so be aware that some entry points do not have many ‘reservable’ spots each day. If you would like to camp at Little Yosemite Valley on the first night of your hike (JMT mile 4.5), then you must choose Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley or Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley. Other permit-holders are not allowed to camp there.

Application deadline & Permit lottery

You may submit your permit application up to 170 days in advance of your preferred starting date, and the permit lottery will take place exactly 168 days (7:30am PST) in advance of the starting date (see this chart for reference). Hundreds of people apply each day for a permit, so it is essential to apply no later than 168 days in advance of your starting date. The permit office will send an email to let you know whether your application has been successful or not, so be sure to input your email address correctly on the application form. Your credit card will only be charged if you get a permit (you are not charged when your application is rejected).

How to fill out your application form

For the 2019 JMT hiking season, you can now submit one application for a range of dates up to 21 days through an online form. Your permit application will be placed in the lottery each day during the date range you provided, and you will be notified of the lottery results each day by email. Your application will be entered into each day’s lottery (for the date range you specified) until:

  1. You get a permit
  2. You cancel your permit application
  3. You fail to get a permit during the date range specified

You are able to rank the five entry trailheads based on your preference (you may choose up to five). You must also write your first night’s camp location. If you choose Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley or Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley, then you must camp at Little Yosemite Valley the first night. If you choose Happy Isles pass-through, then you cannot camp at Little Yosemite Valley and must camp at (or past) Sunrise Lakes. Also, be sure to choose “Whitney Portal” as your exit point.

Next, you must write the date range that you wish to enter the JMT permit lottery (a maximum of 21 days) as well as the number of days you wish to be on trail. Then, you need to specify the number of people in your group and the minimum number of permits you want to have (perhaps you want to have 3 people in your group but are willing to accept permits for just 2 people if that is all that is available). Also, you need to decide if you want to enter the lottery for Half Dome permits, and whether you are willing to hike the JMT if you don’t get Half Dome permits. Please note that only one application per group is allowed.

You will receive the following notifications via email from the permit office after you send your application:

  1. Daily lottery results (accepted or denied)
  2. Notification when your date range expires (May reapply)

Mailing your application

Although Yosemite prefers faxes, you may also send your application by mail no more than 2 weeks in advance of the earliest reservation date. Send the application form with payment (credit card or check payable to Yosemite Conservancy) to:

Wilderness Permits
PO Box 545
Yosemite, CA, 95389



No luck getting a permit? Check for cancellations

You can check the full trailhead report to see if there have been any cancellations. Be sure to scroll down to the Donohue exit quota section to see if there are any spots available:




If you see an available spot that suits your schedule, then be sure to apply for it immediately. If you still have no luck securing a permit, you may want to consider going NOBO.


Picking up your reserved permit

You can pick up your permit from a wilderness permit station the day before your hike, or by 10am the day of your hike. Permits that are not picked up by 10am will be canceled unless you call the permit station in advance and ask them to hold it for you. In that case, they will hold it until the station closes. You can call: 209/372-0308 (this number is for cancellations and late arrivals only).


Yosemite Valley Wilderness Center

Hours: May-October: 8am – 5pm

yosemite visitor center

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Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center

Hours: Late May to October 14 (conditions permitting):  8am – 5pm

tuolumne wilderness center

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