How to Apply for a Southbound John Muir Trail Permit in 2023

Learn everything you need to know about the John Muir Trail permit process for 2023. Get info on JMT starting trailheads, trail quotas, lottery dates & more

A woman smiles hiking on the John Muir Trail

Navigating the John Muir Trail permit process for going south out of Yosemite National Park can be confusing. Which trailhead to start on? When to apply? Will you even be lucky enough to get a John Muir Trail permit? These are all questions I asked when I was planning my southbound thru-hike on the John Muir Trail. With the popularity of the JMT, over 90% of permit applications have been denied over the last few years, it’s important you follow the JMT application directions to a T!

Luckily, I did my research well and when I went to apply for my John Muir Trail permit, I snatched one up for my first-choice date and trailhead out of Yosemite. That being said, the permit application process changed significantly in 2022 so it’s important to read up on what you need to do to secure your JMT permit.

In this post, I share how to apply for a John Muir Trail permit in 2023, relevant resources and links you’ll need, and tips for increasing your chances of snagging one of these coveted southbound permits.

As it goes in all of the destinations we share, please practice good trail etiquette and remember to Leave No Trace. This means packing out all of your garbage, being respectful to others on busy trails, and following the established rules.

2023 Southbound John Muir Trail Permit System

Updated 11/13/2022

No matter where you start your hike, anyone who is hiking along the John Muir Trail is required to carry a wilderness permit. You only need one permit for the entire trip and how you obtain your permit depends on which trailhead you will use to access the John Muir Trail.

As of 2022, all John Muir Trail permits are now issued through Recreation.gov rather than directly through Yosemite National Park.

To apply for a Southbound permit, you must know your desired start date and where you will camp the first night.

A backpacking tent set up at a backcountry campsite on the John Muir Trail
A beautiful campsite on the JMT

How the John Muir Trail Permit System Works & When To Apply

John Muir Trail permits are issued via a lottery system. Interest in hiking the JMT has grown rapidly in the last decade and more people want to hike the trail than the trail can handle so a quota (or cap) has been set and a lottery system has been implemented.

This lottery system helps prevent crowding on the trail and also helps protect the area from overuse.

Permits are managed by a quota-based system in Yosemite, where the Park limits the total number of JMT thru-hikers entering across all trailheads to 45 people per day. They do this by capping the number of JMT hikers going south over Donahue Pass each day.

60% of permits are allocated through the advanced lottery 24 weeks before your start date, while 40% are available online on a first-come, first-served basis 7 days in advance of your start date at 7am PDT. The latest you can make a reservation is 3 days before a start date, although it’s rare that permits will still be available at that time.

John Muir Trail advanced lottery permits are allocated each week and you can apply for a permit 24 weeks in advance. The lottery application period runs weekly from midnight Sunday through 11:59 pm Saturday Pacific Time starting November 13th, 2022 through May 6, 2023. Applicants can apply for any start date between Sunday and Saturday, 24 weeks in advance. Applicants will receive results on the following Monday and those who were successful must accept and pay by that Thursday.

Reservations for trailheads that still have space will be available twelve days after the lottery application period begins for any given week starting at 9 am PT. Any later cancellations will become available immediately.

For example, for the weekly lottery starting November 20st, 2022 here are the dates you need to know:

  • Lottery application period: November 20-26 2022 (Sunday through Saturday)
  • JMT hiking start dates: May 7–13, 2023 (24 weeks in advance)
  • Notification of lottery results: November 28th (Monday after application period)
  • Reservation confirmation deadline: December 1st (following Thursday – you MUST pay by this date or else your reservation will be cancelled)
  • Remaining reservations and cancellations available for May 8–14 start dates: December 2–May 6

You can apply for up to 8 start day options per one-week application, which can include different combinations for start dates, trailheads, and group size.

To figure out the exact date you need to submit your application, check out this chart on Yosemite’s website.

Donahue Pass Permits

In previous years, you could access the John Muir Trail from a number of different trailheads in Yosemite. However, since 2022 all John Muir Trail hikers who plan to exit Yosemite over Donahue Pass to continue further south on the JMT will need to apply for a permit for Happy Isles pass-through (Donohue Pass eligible) or Lyell Canyon (Donohue Pass eligible).

As in previous years, the exit quota for Donahue Pass is 45 people per day, but the distribution across the trailheads has changed. A majority of permits are now granted for Lyell Canyon, which I assume is to reduce crowding on the trail leaving Yosemite Valley which is already packed with day hikers. If you start at Lyell Canyon, you’ll miss out on the first 23 official miles on the John Muir Trail (more on that below). Based on the quotas, my best guess is getting a permit out of Lyell Canyon will be easier than Happy Isles:

  • Lyell Canyon trailhead (Donahue Pass eligible): permits for 30 people (18 by reservation, 12 first-come, first-served one day in advance).
  • Happy Isles past LYV (Donahue Pass eligible): Permits for 15 people (9 by reservation, 6 first-come, first-served one day in advance).
A landscape photo of the John Muir Trail

How to Submit a John Muir Trail Permit Application

The entire John Muir Trail permit application process is entirely managed online through Reservation.gov. You can access the JMT Weekly Lottery Application here.

John Muir Trail Permit Cost

The reservation fee for a Yosemite Wilderness Permit is $10 per application, which is non-refundable. If you are granted a permit, an additional $5 per person applies. Fees MUST be paid by the Thursday following notice of your permit being granted. All fees are non-refundable.

Half Dome permits are $10 per person and can be added to your JMT trip if starting from Yosemite Valley or Glacier Point (more on this later).

A landscape shot of the John Muir Trail

How to Fill Out Your John Muir Trail Permit Application

JMT hikers use the same wilderness permit application as all other Yosemite hikers and everything is managed entirely online through Recreation.gov. You can choose up to 8 start date/entry point combinations per weekly lottery.

On your JMT permit application, you must indicate the following:

  • Preferred start dates
  • Entry point (which trailhead you want to start at)
  • Group size
  • Alternate permit holders, if applicable

Below, I will go through each of the different parts of the JMT online application process.

ONLINE APPLICATION – You can access the Yosemite National Park Wilderness Permits Application here

Step 1: Choose a JMT Entry Point

In Yosemite, there are two direct options for accessing the John Muir Trail: Happy Isles and Lyell Canyon. The first thing I recommend you do is to pick up the John Muir Trail topo map pack by Tom Harrison. These maps will be extremely handy both in your planning and once you are out on the trail. In the meantime, use this Yosemite map to help you decide on your entry trailhead.

Both Happy Isles and Lyell Canyon trailheads exit Yosemite National Park via Donahue Pass.

Here is a table listing your first day’s distances and elevation gain for both JMT starting trailheads.

An Excel chart of John Muir Trail entry points, first night campsites, miles, elevation gain, and quotas
*Note: the walk-up quota are the permits available 7 days in advance

When filling out the application, you can choose up to 8 choices for your JMT Entry trailhead and start dates. When you are filling this out, you should list your desired JMT entry trailheads in order of preference.

IMPORTANT: You need to make sure the trailhead you choose says “Donahue Pass eligible” in order to qualify as a John Muir Trail permit.

If you plan to hike the entire JMT from north to south, you no longer need to list an exit trailhead, even if you plan to summit Mt. Whitney.

Here is more information on each of the trailheads and what the first day of your JMT hike will look like:

Starting Trailhead Option #1: Happy Isles (Donahue Pass Eligible)

The classic and complete north-to-south John Muir Trail route begins at the Happy Isles Trailhead in Yosemite Valley. This means that in the past, this has also been the most competitive trailhead in terms of getting a permit.

If you start here, you are in for a tough climb your first day, but you will pass some of Yosemite’s most iconic landmarks including Nevada Falls, Vernal Falls, and the junction to Half Dome. If you want to actually summit Half Dome, make sure to ask for a Half Dome permit with you pick up your JMT permit at the Yosemite Wilderness Permit Station.

Starting at Happy Isles, your first night’s camp must be at least two miles past Little Yosemite Valley. You can either camp at Moraine Dome or the Half Dome/John Muir Trail junction.

If you plan on summiting Half Dome, camping at the Half Dome/John Muir Trail junction would be ideal.

Starting Trailhead Option #2: Lyell Canyon (Donahue Pass Eligible)

The Lyell Canyon trailhead leaves straight from the Tuolumne Meadows Ranger station. There are a few reasons people choose this trailhead as an alternative to Happy Isles. First, there’s a chance the permit process could be slightly less competitive, but I have no evidence of that. Second, it avoids the brutal climb out of Yosemite Valley.

From the Lyell Canyon trailhead, the first 10 miles of trail are completely flat, giving you an easy first day to warm up. If you go this route, your first night’s camp will be at Upper Lyell Canyon.

The major downside of accessing the John Muir Trail via the Lyell Canyon trailhead is that you miss out on the first official 23 miles of the JMT that traverses some of Yosemite’s most spectacular scenery. Cathedral Lakes, which you would bypass, was a highlight of the JMT for me, and I think it would be a shame to miss this spot. However, you can always come back and hike to Cathedral Lakes as a day hike or you can backpack the first 23 miles on a separate trip.

Step 2: Choose your Desired State Date

You can submit one application with up to 8 start date/entry point combinations within the one-week lottery period. Your application will automatically be placed in each day’s lottery for your chosen time frame and you will be notified the following Monday regarding the results. If you did not win a lottery within your 7-day window, you can reapply with a new range of dates starting the following Sunday for the next set of lottery dates.

Check out this chart to see when the lottery occurs for a particular start date.

You no longer need to list your JMT trip length on your application or your exit trailhead.

Since you can put up to 8 start dates and trailhead combinations on your application, my strategy here would be to try for different dates at both trailhead options.

screenshot of JMT permit application with date ranges

Step 3: Identify the Number of People in Your Party

Make sure to list the accurate number of people in your John Muir Trail party since each person counts towards Yosemite’s trailhead quota.

During the application process, I also recommend adding someone to your party as an alternate trip leader in the chance that you cannot make it. Once your application is submitted and your permit is confirmed, you cannot change or add an alternate trip leader.

What about Half Dome permits?

If you’ve never been to the top of Half Dome, it’s a worthy side trip, but it only makes sense for those starting in Yosemite Valley. It actually isn’t an option if you start from Lyell Canyon.

As of 2022, you don’t need to request a Half Dome permit on your JMT permit application, instead, you can simply add it upon request when you pick up your wilderness permit. The cost is an additional $10 per person and can be paid when you pick up your JMT permits.

What Happens Next?

Once you submit your application you will receive an email notification confirming that your JMT permit request has been received.

You will be notified by email by the Monday after the lottery week window whether or not you got a permit. If you are unsuccessful, you can reapply for another date the following week.

If you do receive a permit you will be sent a link to pay online, and you must pay by the following Thursday or your reservation will be canceled.

Picking up your JMT Permit

You must pick up your permit in person at a Yosemite Wilderness Permit Station the day before, or the day of your permit entry date. Visit this page for Wilderness Permit Station hours and locations.

For late pick-ups after 10:00 a.m. on your entry date, you must log in to your recreation.gov account to modify your permit reservation and mark it for late pick-up. This must be done prior to 10:00 a.m on your entry date and can only be done within two weeks of your entry date.

Note: A reservation confirmation email is NOT a permit – you must pick up your permit in person.

John Muir Trail Walk-Up Permits and Cancellations

If you are denied a permit, your other option in 2023 will be to try for another week, or apply again 7 days in advance of your start date at 7am PDT when the remaining permits are released. In years past, these permits were available in person as first-come, first-serve, but this changed to online in 2022.

You can also keep an eye out for cancellations. Reservations for trailheads that still have space will be available as soon as twelve days after the lottery application period begins for any given week starting at 9 am PT. Any later cancellations will become available immediately.

Any last-minute permits will be available in person at the wilderness center only on the start date of the trip. Very few (if any) permits will be available, so we highly encourage trying to get a JMT permit another way first.

If the weekly lottery seems too risky or the logistics with resupply are too complicated, the only option you will have is to access the JMT from one of the trailheads south of Yosemite. There are several access points just south in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Reds Meadow near Mammoth Lakes at mile 59 is also a sensible option since most JMT hikers stop here to resupply. Check out my favorite JMT section hikes here.

However, people accessing the JMT at different access points is becoming a problem and is resulting in a very crowded trail, so keep that in mind.

I hope this John Muir Trail permit guide helps you secure a permit for 2023. Be sure to follow all the steps and include all the information required in order to increase your chances of securing a permit.

For more information about the John Muir Trail, visit my JMT Archives.

What other questions do you have about the John Muir Trail permit process? Leave them in the comments below.

Learn everything you need to know about the 2023 John Muir Trail permit process including where to start, JMT trail quotas, & lottery dates.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. thank you so much Kristen!!! very insightful post, I am now considering the Sunrise lakes option because Cloud’s Rest was a sight I would definitely see again!

    1. Thanks David! I was blown away by Clouds Rest. We went late in the afternoon and had the whole summit to ourselves. So different than my experience on Half Dome. Good luck with the permit process!

  2. Sorry, I thought I typed that correctly. I don’t see Tenaya Lake as a start point on the NPS website. Is it really an option? (The earlier post was spellcheck gone wild.)

  3. The article was helpful, mostly because it let me know that I have been doing everything right in my month-long quest to get a permit. Yesterday I finally got a Lyell Canyon entry date for June 15th of this year – now my concern is the possibility of deep snow, new snowfall, or sub-zero cold snaps. Based on the 30% snowpack number right now, and the profoundly dry January and February, how much preparation should I do? Just an extra cold layer? Crampons? Ice axe? Personal jetpack? I want to carry what I need plus a safety margin; I just want that safety margin to hopefully be ounces, not pounds. Guidance would be appreciated.
    P.S. doing it solo. The wife will be living it up at the Ahwahnee while I’m hauling ass in the grass.

    1. Chuck – congrats on your permit! Very exciting. As for your early start state…it’s hard to say what conditions will be, but as you say, snowpack this year is very low. As your date approaches, I would keep an eye on this page: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildcond.htm
      You might also give the Rangers station in Tuolumne Meadows a call in late May/early June. They should be able to advise you as to whether you need crampons. Either way, I don’t think you should need an ice axe. Most of the trail isn’t too steep, but I would advise trekking poles. Your shoes will also be a consideration. If there is snow on the trail, you should think about wearing some heavier hiking boots as opposed to trail runners. You could also consider something like these as an alternative to crampons:
      An extra warm layer can’t hurt. Nights are pretty cold even later in summer, especially at high elevations….and in most places campfires are not allowed. Hope that helps, and if you have any other questions, let me know! -Kristen

  4. I had to give up a sponsorship for the PCT because I just started working(after a year of unemployment), but I’m working towards doing the JMT this fall. Soooooo glad I came across your page!

      1. Thanks! Yeah…so I’m planning right now and my friend and I want to aim to start around August 22nd(Monday)…which is still outside of Yosemite’s 26 weeks? So, I can fax my application Sunday for the Monday lottery correct?

          1. Hi Kristen, I am planning on sending my permit request fax in tomorrow for a July 1st start date. I just got a little confused reading this, can I send the fax in at 12:01 A.M. or P.M. ? Pacific time.

    1. I submitted an application this morning but did not receive an email saying it was received. Should I have received verification right away or give it a couple days? I just want to be sure I’m at least in the lottery. I did check in spam too.

      1. Hi, Jill – I just submitted my application for the lottery and immediately got an emailed receipt for the $10 fee. If you didn’t get that email, I would question if your entry went through. That said, I’m NOT an expert on this! Just sharing my experience. May the odds be in your favor!

  5. Is there any advantage if two people in the same group each submit a permit application for the same trip in Yosemite? Would it increase your chances of securing a permit?

    1. Tom – Yes. If you and a friend are planning on hiking together, I would recommend you both apply for a permit for a party of 2 (or however many people are in your group). In the case that you both get the permit, then you can just call the ranger and cancel one of them so it opens the spot for someone else. Hope that makes sense!

      1. Is there an age requirement for submitting an application? I hope to hike the JMT this summer with my two boys (15 and 13). I was thinking about having each of them apply for a permit as well???

        1. Hi Scott, that’s an awesome question! To the best of my knowledge, there is not an age requirement for the application. You should be able to have everyone apply for a permit.

          1. Just an FYI, My husband and I both applied for the JMT this week and his application was kicked out since it was flagged to be the same party of 2.

      2. They say that if you do this they will auto reject your application. Not sure how they know, maybe if the choices all match? I called today and they confirmed they have checks to see if the same party is applying, and reject all of them if they catch you.

        1. Hi Michael, I posted that comment in 2015 and it sounds like they’ve really tightened up their stance on this. Appreciate the new info!

  6. This is so helpful! Thank you! I don’t plan on hiking JMT till Summer of 2016, how much of this process do you think will change by then? Also, if I were unable to get a permit starting in Yosemite and chose to start at Mt. Whitney, what’s the permit process like for that?

    1. Kameron – It’s really hard to say if the permit process will change. My guess is they will probably take a look at the end of this summer and tweak as necessary. I’ll be sure to update the post if that’s the case. I’m not totally clear on the permit process from Mt. Whitney, but my understanding is that it’s even more competitive because you are in the same lottery as everyone else who just wants to summit Whitney.

  7. Wow your site is so incredibly helpful. Thank you! There was just one thing I was hoping you might be able to clarify. You mentioned that previously permits should be submitted from 12pm the day before but that this has now changed. Do you know when they start accepting faxes. i’ll be using an online fax service to fax from Australia and am set on doing everything right. When would you recommend faxing the application? Thanks again for all the helpful info and inspiration! 😀

    1. Sorry if that was confusing. The time used to be 5pm, but they recently changed it to 12pm. So you can fax your permit in anytime after 12pm the day before the lottery. Let me know if that makes sense. Thanks!

  8. Great website! If I don’t win a lottery spot and try for the walk-up, just how early do people start waiting in line? Do some even wait two days if they are unsuccessful on the first day?

    1. Thanks Frank! I’m not quite sure yet how the walk up situation will be. I would imagine some people will wait that long, especially those who have already mailed themselves resupply packages along the trail. As more info becomes available on this this summer, I’ll make to update the post with what I’m hearing.

        1. Charlie – I just tried calling the Ranger’s station but couldn’t get anyone on the phone today. I’ll try back later this week and see if I can’t track down some info for you. -Kristen

  9. Hi again Kristen,
    Just wanted to let you know I obtained a permit after only three days of trying. Super excited about this epic trek this September. Your site decrypted it all for me so I want to say THANK YOU!

    1. Frank
      What trailhead did you pick?
      Did you say yes to passing through Donahue Pass?
      What time did you fax in your request?
      Been trying for a couple of weeks.

    2. Frank! That’s so exciting. I’m super jazzed for ya. Can’t wait to hear all about it when you get done. And in the mean time, if you have any other questions, just let me know. Thanks – Kristen

  10. Frank
    What trailhead did you pick?
    Did you say yes to passing through Donahue Pass?
    What time did you fax in your request?
    Been trying for a couple of weeks.

  11. Hi Carlin,
    First recommendation – Follow Kristen’s instructions on this site to a tee. All your questions are already answered there too, but here’s what I did: Fill out all three trail heads you want with the same start date (Kristen posted a link for lottery date relative to trek start date). Fill out all parts of the form. I got my first pick, Sunrise Lakes. Fax went in the day before, 4pm-ish but I recall reading you can send up to 7:30am the day of the lottery. Confirm your fax sent successfully since it’s not always a sure thing. Several of my attempts did not go through. I was floored when I received the permit email. Just keep trying and trying. Good luck!

    1. Frank, question. you said you sent your fax in 4pm the day before. Do you mean, the lottery date you were supposed to submit on was the day after you sent your fax. they allow that?

  12. Thanks Kristen!
    Do you think it’s possible to hike from Glacier to Sunrise Lakes in a day (coming from Burning Man so probably not going to be in the best shape) without pushing ourselves too much too soon?

    1. Mmmm. I’m not really sure exactly how far that is. On the map, it looks like it might be doable, but I can’t say for sure. Do keep in mind that your pack is going to be very heavy on the first day and you aren’t going to be used to the altitude. I definitely struggled the first day I was out there, and I think it’s a good idea to ease in to your trip.
      Oooh and also…I’m going to burning man!!! It will be my first year and I’m soooo excited.

  13. Ooh first timer! How exciting! This will be my third time, it’s hard to miss it once you’ve had a taste; so be prepared to go every year haha.
    One last question, I saw on the nps website they say it takes 1-2 business days to inform you of whether you received a permit or not. For my friend and I the only options are starting either on the 9th or 10th as he has to leave the country so that would require us potentially sending out a second permit application before we receive the answer on the first. Does that seem right? Do you think this would rule out our first application? Thanks! 🙂

    1. You know I’m really not sure. I think the best thing you can do is call the rangers station in Yosemite and ask for their advice. It doesn’t sound like it should be a problem, but would be good to check.

  14. My personal experience was that I would get an email the same day of the lottery at around 4pm informing me I was denied. The third day I was granted a permit, they sent me confirmation 9am on the day of the lottery. The rangers are really on top of it.

  15. My friend and I just got a permit starting from Little Yosemite Valley. We ended up submitting ten applications (one for each of us five times) before we received a reservation. I faxed our last attempt the afternoon of March 18th. We got the confirmation email the evening of thr 19th. Such a happy moment! Thank you Bearfoot Theory for the great advice and good luck everyone!

  16. Great blog and very helpful!
    This is my story…After a couple weeks of religiously faxing (gotfreefax.com is awesome!) I finally got a JMT permit from Lyell canyon trailhead starting 9/9. Then I got a bit creative…there was still trailhead space available from Happy Isle to Little Yosemite on 9/6 (but the JMT/Donahoe pass quota was full which didn’t matter because I’m covered via my 9/9 permit). So I’ll start on 9/6 from Happy Isle (secured a Half Dome permit that day as well), arrive in Tuolumne 9/8 pick up my Lyell Canyon Permit and depart 9/9.
    I had almost given up and resorted to Plan B…. hike northbound from mammoth lakes, then hitchhike from Yosemite valley back to mammoth lakes and hike southbound.

  17. Hey Kristen, just wanted to say THANK YOU! This has helped me so much in the permit process. I did want to say that if you start at Happy Isles and say you are going to Little Yosemite Valley, you MUST camp at the LYV campground. You do not have the option to camp at Sunrise Creek. And although you probably know that, I was a little confused when reading. I hope they still process my request! I submitted mine today. Thanks again.

    1. Ben – Best of luck! I’m glad this was helpful. Regarding your comment about Sunrise Creek…this is what I just pulled from the Yoesmite website:
      “Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley, Happy Isles pass-through, Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley, and Sunrise Lakes trailheads: Permits for 20 people, all of which are available by reservation.” My understanding is that camping at Sunrise Creek falls under the Happy Isles pass-through.” Have you been told otherwise by the Park Service?

      1. So since the Happy Isles –>LYV quota is different than the Happy Isles –> Pass-through, they have different restrictions on where you can camp. On the website it says “The following trailheads allow (and require) you to stay at the Little Yosemite Valley Campground on the first night of your trip:
        From Yosemite Valley: Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley
        From Glacier Point: Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley
        If you have a permit for one of these two trailheads, you must spend your first night at Little Yosemite Valley Campground”
        Or maybe JMT hikers are not allowed to apply for that permit since we are long distance? i’m not sure but I haven’t seen anything different.

        1. Hi Benjamin – The way it’s written on Yosemite’s website is a bit confusing. But I’m pretty sure those camping requirements you mention are only for people who are doing Half Dome, not long distance hikers on John Muir Trail. Just below the section about Half Dome camping, it says:
          The John Muir Trail can only be directly accessed via these trailheads:
          From Yosemite Valley: Happy Isles to Sunrise/Merced Lake (pass through) and Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley
          From Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley: Cathedral Lakes
          From Tuolumne Meadows exiting the park: Lyell Canyon
          From Glacier Point: Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley
          Also on this page, it says: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/jmtfaq.htm
          Which trailheads does this quota apply to? Will permits be available on a first-come, first-served basis?
          In order to receive a permit with Donohue Pass as your exit point from Yosemite, you MUST start at Lyell Canyon, Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley, Happy Isles pass-through, Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley, or Sunrise Lakes. Other entrance trailheads will not be approved.
          Lyell Canyon trailhead: Permits for 25 people, with 60% (15) available by reservation and 40% (10) available on a first-come, first-served basis.
          Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley, Happy Isles pass-through, Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley, and Sunrise Lakes trailheads: Permits for 20 people, all of which are available by reservation. Late cancellations will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, although we don’t expect any to be available most days.
          The “pass-thru” option means camping along Sunrise Creek. Hope that helps clarify things! -Kristen

  18. There are earlier permits available for the the Happy Isles -> Little Yosemite Valley, but is it pretty safe to assume that the exit quota for those days has already been reached (lottery was last week)? Is there any way to find out?

  19. I initially applied for a permits leaving 9/5, 9/6, and 9/7. I did that before reading your comments. I got rejected for all three dates for all three requested trailheads. I moved my plans back a week (read your comments) and reapplied for 9/12 and 9/13. I was successful and even managed to get my first pick of trailheads for both dates. I cancelled the 9/13 date and will be hitting the trail with my wife Rachel on 9/12. Thanks for the great site. Your advice was a huge help.

  20. Hey Kristen! Planning for JMT next year and it sounds like starting from your spot at Sunrise Meadow will make the most sense. Your site has been an absolute Godsend and is the best/most detailed account I’ve come across in my research.
    I was hoping you may be able to answer a few more Q’s I have that I can’t seem to find a clear answer for on the internet…
    We will be flying into Reno from Chicago, taking the Eastern Sierra Transit to Lee Vining, then YARTS to the trail. Being from out of state, that last bit getting from Reno to the trail seems kinda hairy and the bus schedules are tough to decipher….Can we make it from Reno all the way to Sunrise in one day? Will we need to stay the night in Lee Vining (our planned change off the Eastern Sierra) or does YARTS run in the afternoon too? Do we need to stop in Tuolumne Meadows for our reserved permit? And finally do we pick up our permit the day we plan to begin JMT or the day prior?
    Thanks so much for taking the time to put together this site, it’s fantastic!

    1. Hi Nate! Thanks for the compliment on my site, and I’m glad the info has been helpful. Unfortunately, I really don’t know much about YART, but after taking a quick look, my question is whether you’ve thought about flying into Fresno. It seems closer and the public transit seems easier. http://yarts.com/routes-and-schedules/fresno-madera-yosemite-valley/
      You will also need to pick up your permit the day PRIOR at the Tuolumne Meadows Rangers Station. There is also free backpackers campground right next to the rangers station. I would recommend staying there the night before your hike and then taking the free park shuttle to the Tenaya Lake/Sunrise Lakes trailhead.
      Let me know if you have any other questions! Thanks, Kristen

      1. Kristen, I was told in my reservation confirmation email from the Yosemite Conservancy that permits were gotten the day of, early morning; from the email I got:
        General Information
        Reservations are held until 10 a.m. on the entry date, and then cancelled. Call (209) 372-0308 by 10:00 a.m. on the entry date to hold reservations for late arrival. Calls will be accepted no more than two days in advance. Reservations can be held for the entry date only.
        I’m not saying they can’t be picked up the day before, but it seems like they can also be picked up the morning of, before 10?

    2. Nate – Another reader just corrected me. Just found this info on the website:
      “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, please 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.” Sorry for the misinformation.

      1. And thanks for the Fresno suggestion, It looks like that will be the better way to go. Reno was cheaper airfare initially, but all said and done with all costs its almost a wash and Fresno seems to be much less of a headache. Thanks again!

  21. Is it too early in the year yet to find out how the JMT walk-up permit in Lyell Canyon has been working?
    My wife and I were really angling starting our hike from Aug 15-20, but our permits didn’t get through. We’re flexible enough that we can wait 2-4d before starting our hike.

    1. Julian – It is too early to know since the permit swing isn’t in full effect. I think in June we should have a better sense of how many people are showing up for these permits. Sorry that isn’t more helpful! But check back in a couple of months and we will see if we can get you a more detailed answer. Thanks! Kristen

  22. Kristen, amazing information…i am planning for a solo JMT hike in 2016. Hope i will get a permit

    1. Glad the post was helpful. My fingers are crossed for you! There is also a chance this permit process may change a bit by next year, so make sure to come back and get the latest info.

  23. Hi Kristin – my plans were to go into Lyell Canyon, backtrack to Cathedral Lakes, then head out. I assume that can’t happen because I am committing to my first night in the opposite direction?

    1. Hi Brian –
      I don’t think that would be a problem as long as you specific the right exit date over Donahue Pass and Cathedral Lakes as your first campsite. But just to be safe, I would recommend calling the rangers station to double check before submitting your application. Hope that is helpful! -Kristen

  24. Hi. Thanks for a very informative site.
    I have never been in Yosemite before, I’ve actually only been in the us once before (NY).
    I happen to have the whole month of july available and thought about hiking the jmt. Now im sad to hear about having to sort out permits to be able to, obviously no such thing exist in sweden where im from.
    Now to my questions, from what i gathered i will need a wilderness permit for the trail, even if i skip yosemite. So where would you start if you wanted to do as much of the jmt as possible but only applying a month ahead?
    Would it be more likely to obtain permits northbound or southbound? Considering im not getting a permit for the yosemite Section?
    What im hooping for is that someone will tell me “you can start in the trailhead xxxxxx, and hike north to xxxxx, those permits will be easy to obtain even only a month ahead”
    If no such options exist, is there a section of the pct that is doable in 2-3 weeks that people recommend? All suggestions are considered.
    Thanks again for all you effort. Looking forward to any answers.
    / kiljano from sweden

    1. Hi Kiljano – That’s great you are planning on visiting the Sierras. They are so incredibly beautiful. Unfortunately, I do’t really know the answers to your questions since my only experience is getting a permit out of Yosemite. My best advice would be to join the JMT Yahoo Group. There are some true veterans in there, and I bet if you ask in their forums, you might get the answer you are looking for. I’m sorry I don’t have more details myself. You can join the forum here:
      Also, you can call some of the offices listed on this site:
      The rangers should be able to give you good information about where you are most likely to get a permit.
      There is also a JMT Facebook group where you might be able to get some good advice:
      Thanks for following along and please come back and share some updates with us!

  25. Kiljano,
    I am in the same boat. I am going to come back with more details, then update my blog with the sites I used, but if you can’t wait….
    Go to Reservations.org, select permits (not camping), then Look at Inyo Permits. This should allow you access to Ansel Adams and John Muir Wilderness.
    I literally found all the entry points on other sites, asked other JMT hikers what the best stretches were (like Kristen – Thanks!), then watched Mile Mile and Half (from Netflix). From there, I matched entry points to what I could get permits to and factored in the hike to those entrances.
    I just got mine entering by Mono Pass (not Yosemite an entrance right after Silver Pass). This will give me a good 7 day pass whether I want to go a lot of local hikes and limit myself to only 40 miles of the JMT, or push hard and max out how far I want to go.
    Hope this helps – I will come back with more details, but know I spent hours and hours first trying to get into Yosemite, then looking further up the trail.

  26. Hi Kristen! Your website is amazing. I just have one question. Do I just need one permit to hike the entire trial, depending from where I depart from, or do I need a permit for every single wilderness area I will pass through?

    1. Kristin – You only need one permit for the whole trail and your permit is based on your starting point. Hope that’s helpful and let me know if you need anything else! -Kristen

  27. Thanks for all the information you’ve provided here. a mean really THANKS, you’ve helped us plan what I hope will be a great trip on the JMT this summer. We will be starting our trip from Sunrise Lake. Please confirm we’ve understood correctly (sort of just wanting a stamp of approval from someone haha) –
    – we will can pick up our permit the day before at the Tuolume Meadows Rangers Station
    – we can camp at Tuolume Meadows the night before of our entry date
    – there is a shuttle that will transport us between Tuolume Meadows to there Sunrise Lake trailhead – the schedule we don’t know but we assume it is frequent and easy to navigate
    We are thinking of leaving our car in Lone Pine and traveling up from there to Mammoth Lakes and then on the the Ranger Station at Tuolume Meadows. Organizing the transportation seems to be a bit of a headache, timings of the buses seem to be limited. Do you have any advice or thoughts around this?
    Thank, again, Kristen.
    Jessica & Mike

    1. Hey guys! So glad you’ve found my website helpful and pumped for you and your JMT trip.
      1) Yep – pick up your permit the day before at the Tuolumne Rangers Station
      2) Yes – there is a free campground that JMT hikers can stay at. You can’t camp right next to your car at the free site. There is camping right next to your car if you are willing to pay a small fee (I think it was $15).
      3) Yes – there is a free shuttle. There isn’t a schedule to my knowledge, but if comes frequently.
      We parked one car at Lone Pine and the other car at Tuolumne Meadows. I’m not sure about the bus, but you aren’t the first person to ask this, so I’m thinking about writing up a post on it. If you find anything out about this, I would love to hear what you learn.
      Thanks and if you have other questions, just let me know! -Kristen

      1. Thanks! We will hit the trail in about 15 days, eek!, and will pick up whatever info we can for you and forward it along upon our return, end of August.
        Thanks again for all your help – have just listed our your recommended campsites. 🙂

  28. Hey Kristen!
    Thank you for the awesome site and extremely thorough breakdown! Nothing could be further from a ‘Bor’ hehehe!
    But yeah I was just wondering if you, or anyone you know, or anyone else commenting on this, has had any experience going the day-of permit route at Lyell Canyon. I missed the window for the advance permits, so this is my only option, but it would be nice to get a sense of just how brutal this is going to be. Does anyone have any info on this?

    1. Hey Ryan – I did some digging and have been hearing that people are getting walk up permits for Lyell Canyon out of Tuolumne without too much trouble.
      One person told me: “I was just in Yosemite last week and the ranger at the Wilderness Center said most walkups had been getting what they wanted but not all. I asked the 5 or 6 people standing in line at 10 am if anyone was waiting for JMT permits and none were.”
      And another person said: “showed up yesterday at 10:30 a.m. and once 11 a.m. hit, had a permit for Lyell over Donahue in just a few minutes. All the permits are for next day ( this must be part of the new regs)”
      Not guaranteed…the weather has also been pretty iffy lately, so not sure if that’s keeping people away. But it sounds like if you have a couple of days of flexibility, you should be able to snag one.

  29. Thanks for taking the time to write this up! Very thorough and informative information (this page and the entire site). Even read through all the comments.
    I was wondering about doing a South-North hike, starting from Whitney. Would the permit process be easier that way? I’ve hike Whitney many times, but only been to Yosemite once (odd, I know).
    Bummer about the advanced notice (6 months??). So much for doing the PCT this year–it’s already mid-June. Unless I do a walk-in hike, which might be an option.
    Thanks again!

    1. Hey Paul! Nice to connect with you outside of instagram! I think the permits for south to north are even more difficult because you are applying in the same pool as everyone competing for a Whitney permit. That direction for thru-hikers is a little less popular also because it doesn’t give you a chance to adjust to the altitude and your bag on day 1 when you summit Whitney would be very heavy. I also thought the scenery got more grand as you went south. But a lot of people do it that way, so I don’t want to discourage you. I don’t know too much about PCT permits, since that is a separate process, but excited to see where your adventures take you! If you have any other questions let me know! Kristen

      1. You don\’t have to compete with \”everyone\” for a Whitney permit – that is, if you could start from Horseshoe Meadows, three (or possible two, for the fit ones) days further south. It\’s a lot easier to get a permit to summit Whitney if you don\’t go down to Whitney Portal afterwards. Search for a permit from Horseshoe Meadows saying \”visiting Whitney\”, not \”exiting Whitney\”. This also gives you the advantage of being able to leave your heavy backback down in the Guitar Lake area and bring a lighter daypack to the top and back down to camp.

  30. Hi Kristen! Thank you so much for your great information on JMT. It is really helpful. I am thinking to hike JMT in September. I do not have an advanced permits and need to obtain walk-in permits hopefully at Tuolumne Meadows Rangers Station. I can be flexible about the start date but my concern is where I could stay the nights until I obtain the permits. I know there is free backpackers campground right next to the rangers station, which I guess only eligibles for hikers with permits…? I quickly looked Tuolumne Meadow Lodge, however it is off course fully booked. I would really appreciate your advice on where I can safely spend the night in Tuolumne. I am a solo female hiker.

    1. Hi! That’s great you are going to hike the JMT. There is a campground right next to the rangers station in Tuolumne and in early September you shouldn’t have a problem getting a spot. I think it was $15 a night if I remember correctly and you can park your car right next to your tent. That’s where we stayed the night before we left and it worked out great.

  31. Thanks Kirsten for all your posts. Myself and two friends are looking to do a thru-hike of the jmt in a couple of years. I had a couple questions. What are the conditions going to be like in early June or late May because that would be the ideal time for us during senior year after graduation. If someone in the gorup is afraid of height and/or falling what parts of the trail should we be concerned about? Due to our early start, will getting a permit out of happy isles be any easier to obtain?
    Thanks so much,
    BTW: Saw your profile and saw that you are in henderson thats so cool because we live up in summerlin.

    1. Hey Nick – Love that you are going to celebrate your graduation on the JMT. Very cool!
      In terms of your dates, late May / early June could be doable, but it depends on how much snow the Sierras get that year. I would say the later you can start the better in terms of weather and bugs. Earlier dates should be less competitive in terms of permits however.
      The trail is well maintained and at no point do you encounter terrain that is technical or scary. Most of the climbs and descents are switchbacks on a well defined path, so there is no risk of falling.
      That’s cool you live in Summerlin. I actually just moved up to Salt Lake City, but I enjoyed my Vegas tenure for sure! Ok, let me know if you have any other questions. -Kristen

      1. Do you know of any good hikes for practicing backpacking near Vegas such as red rock, mt. charleston, or any where else close?

      2. Do you know of any good hikes for practicing backpacking near Vegas such as red rock, mt. charleston, or any where else close?
        Thanks so much!

  32. Hi Kristen,
    I found your blog via Pinterest. Your JMT info is wonderfully organized and helpful!! A couple of friends and I are in the very early planning stages for potentially hiking the JMT in summer of ’16. My one question for you is – if another friend wants to meet us for a quick weekend of hiking and camping on the trail, do we need to include that friend on our permit applications? Even though he won’t be with us for the whole JMT hike?

    1. Hey thanks Ash! Glad to hear you are considering the JMT. It’s an incredible trail! It depends where your friend wants to meet you, but they will likely need their own permit. If you go north to south, you will need a permit out of Yosemite that exits over Donahue Pass, so unless your friend plans to accompany you for this section, then they will need to fill out their own separate permit for whatever trailhead they plan on using. For a full list of trailheads from which you can access the JMT and corresponding permit agencies see this link: http://hikethru.com/hiking-information/about-the-jmt-1/permits Hope that is helpful and let me know if you have other questions! Kristen

  33. Hi Kristen,
    The quota of 20 per 4 trailheads. Is it 20 hikers or 20 permits a day per 4 trailheads?
    Can you please verify?

  34. Hey Kristin!
    I am a bit confused on when to submit my permit reservation application. If I do it now will it not be looked at? I’m having trouble figuring out when the exact lottery date is for some reason!

  35. Hi Kristin,
    The more I read your journal entry, the more I understanding the process and things I need to do.
    I am aiming for summer of 2016 to fulfill my bucket list. 🙂
    By the way, while I was reading all your sectional trail journal, I had my Tom Harrison’s map out.
    I have to tell you I felt like I was hiking with you on the entire trail.
    Anyway, I am really appreciated all your reports and beautiful pictures.
    You have a talent and know exactly what to take a best pictures out from your view.
    keep hiking and keep posting,

    1. Hey Moe! Thanks so checking out my site, and I’m stoked that you are considering the JMT for 2016. It’s an incredible experience, and I’m here to answer any questions you might have as you start your prep. Thanks and have fun out there! Kristen

  36. Hey! Just a few questions for you Kristen or anyone who can answer.
    I\’m just wondering how much the permit would cost after you got accepted for one?
    Also i am a little confused on the quota system. If i take the entry trail you did and get a permit do i need 20 people with me? or can i still do a walk up? thanks

    1. The permit is only $5….cool huh!
      I’m a little confused by your question as afar as the quota system. You don’t need anyone with you. Just state the number of people in your party on your application. For walk-up permits, it’s one permit per person. If that’s confusing let me know and we can chat more.

  37. Hi Kristen!
    First things first- your blog is awesome! Incredibly helpful for planning this trip! I\’m hoping to get a permit to start in late June at Glacier Point. I\’m hiking the trail with one of my best friends from college!
    Second- if we start at glacier (or anywhere in Yosemite for that matter) and plan on finishing at Whitney, do we still need to check yes for exiting over Donahue Pass?
    I\’m having a hard time understanding the Donahue Pass quota stuff!
    Thanks a ton! Keep doing what you\’re doing!

    1. Hey Daisy – Awesome you are doing the JMT and no worries. The permit process is conusing.
      Yes, you need to check the exit over Donahue. That’s how they tell the difference between people hiking just in Yosemite and thru-hikers.

  38. Hi Kristen!
    I am planning my trip now for July of 2017 and though the process may change I am filling out the permit to get an idea of everything.
    If I am planning to enter from Sunrise Lakes (Tenya Lakes South) where would I camp on my first night, and if I am entering from Glacier Point where would I camp?
    Any advice helps,
    Thank you!

  39. Hi Kristen!
    I am in the process of planning to hike the entire JMT in 2016! Your site has been extremely helpful in planning, but I am still confused on the actual permit reservation application. The form asks for my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd date choices, yet you can only apply 268 days in advance. So if my 3rd choice opens before my 1st choice, do I put them all down and they will accept my application even though my first choice has not opened yet for applications?? I’m stressing because I don’t want to miss the correct date to submit my application, but I also don’t want to submit the application and they reject it because my first choice date is not yet open for applications. Please help!
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hey Jocilyn-
      I’m not actually sure about that…and I’m currently in New Zealand so I have no way of confirming. I suggest you call the ranger and double check with them. And I’d really appreciate if you could let me know what they say so I can update the post. Thanks and good luck with the permit! Kristen

  40. What an incredible resource your website is!
    So on the permitting process – if we are a group of 3 Eastern flat-landers and really want to start at Happy Isle and our start date is flexible, should we:
    1) Fax in 3 applications on the due date for our 1st possible start date.
    …if it\’s rejected
    2) Fax in 3 more applications the next day…If rejected, repeat again?
    We\’re looking at hiking in late July / early August 2016 and probably have about a 10 day window for \”day 1\” on the trail.

    1. Hey Rick – Thanks for stopping by and glad you find the info helpful!
      Yep, what you’ve described is correct. I’m sure with the three of you trying and your flexible start date you should be successful. Good luck and keep me posted.

  41. Thank you for this post! I\’ve been looking for something like this for a while. Thank you for keeping it simple (when a lot of it can get confusing)
    This has been very useful.

  42. Hi Kristen- thanks for all the info on your website- so helpful!
    We are planning a trip for Aug/Sept this year, planning on flying in to San Francisco from London so I think our easiest way into the park will be to Merced then Yosemite valley. Do you know if there is a shuttle bus from Yosemite valley to Tuolumne meadows for if we get the Sunrise lakes or Lyell canyon trailhead? Thanks!

    1. Hey! So I haven’t done too much research on transportation…but I have plans to look into it and write up a post on it very soon. So stay tuned and I should be able to get some more info for you.

  43. Hi Kristen!! Thank you so much for your great site. You do an amazing job at clearly sifting through what can be very confusing situations. I just wanted to make sure that I’ve got this correct. So, if I am hoping to start the JMT on August 3rd 2016, I need to fax my application to Yosemite at 3:00pm Eastern time on February 16th (February 17th is 168 days from August 3rd)?

      1. Awesome, thank you!! Also, I saw a post here that talked about multiple trailheads being marked on the application. How does that work? Do you send in multiple apps with different trailheads or do you mark three on the same app?

        1. No – one app and you list three different trailheads for your first choice date. And no, all the applications that are received the day before are pooled and the lottery is random. Good luck!

  44. Okay, last question. Does that mean I can send in my fax at 12:01am the day before and if so, would getting it in that early help my chances?

  45. Hi Kristen! I want to make sure I understand. It appears I need to fill in 3 entry point choices for the same date, correct? Then in 2 days, if I am denied, I fill out a new application for the next 168 days ahead with 3 entry points on same date again….I can’t for example put in July 30 for first choice, july 31 for second choice and Aug 1 for 3rd choice because the 168 days rule would be violated by the later dates…..right? LOL. Thank you for your blog. Your information has been invaluable!

  46. Hi Kristen,
    I am so thankful for your blog! Your website has been the most helpful I have come across so far, and I have looked a lot! I am planning my trip right now for July 2016. Fingers crossed! My group has never been to Yosemite, and we would like to hike Half Dome if we can. I am listing the choices of our group (exactly what is listed on the reservation form) and the first nights camp location to ask you if they sound accurate, and to make sure the first nights camping location is specific enough!
    1st choice: Happy Isles -> Little Yosemite Valley and first nights camp location is Little Yosemite Valley.
    2nd choice: Happy Isles -> Sunrise/Merced Lake Pass Through (no camping) and first nights camp location is Sunrise Creek.
    3rd choice: Sunrise Lakes (Tenaya Lake South) and first night camping location is Sunrise Lakes
    So, if I am correct in my understanding, the first two choices would be okay to hike Half Dome, and the third choice is where you started at, and we would get a chance to see Clouds Rest, which is the one other thing I would like to see in Yosemite. For the first nights camp location the instructions say For example, list a nearby lake, stream, mountain, trail junction or other feature you plan to camp near. Are what I have listed specific enough and plausible locations to camp at from the starting point?
    Thank you so much for you information!

  47. Hi Kristen
    Awesome blog, thanks for being so thorough, however I have one question pertaining to your last comment. If all the applications that are received the day before are pooled and the lottery is random what is stopping any one person from faxing in 20 or more applications to make their chances in the lottery better?? Do people do this? I’d like to send a few, but not go overboard. Just curious as to what I’m up against.

    1. Zac – I would not recommend doing that. If you get caught (which I’m sure they are keeping an eye out for this), they will deny all of your permit requests. Plus it’s unfair to everyone else who is applying and following the one application per person rule.

  48. Hey Kristen! I just wanted to thank you for your posts and blog! I just received my JMT permit and I used this post and all your links to make it happen. I\’ll reference this website a lot too in preparation for my thru hike. Enjoy New Zealand!

  49. Is it competitive to get an exit permit for Whitney Portal when you start in Inyo NF south of Yosemite? Do those exit dates fill up the minute they are available like the permits in YNP do?

  50. Hi Kirsten,
    Thanks a lot for your awesome blog! Luckily it was the first one I stumbled upon! A lot of questions got answered reading your blog but also by reading the questions and comments here. One additional/stupid question: If I want to do the JMT and I put my three choices of the entry points etc..in the fax application form and I check the box that I want to exit via Donahue Pass, how do they know on which date I exit Yosemite Valley? I\’m just wondering because of the quota for the Donahue Pass… I hope you understand what I mean. Cause the exit date I put in my application form is the exit date for my exit trailhead, correct? In this case it would Whitney Portal. Thanks a lot already for your help!
    Cheers, Nadine

    1. Your trail exit date is the date you plan on finishing the JMT. Don’t worry about the date you will exit via Donahue Pass. That box is just how they tell that you are a thru-hiker.

  51. Hi Kristen
    Thank you so much for this awesome guide, it has been a huge help in planning my trip, although I do have one question. Why are the first nights camp locations so limited? On the instruction form it simply says to list a landmark you plan to camp by, but your article makes it seem as though there are only 1-2 “correct” first nights’ camps associated with each entry trailhead.

    1. It’s the same application for all permits in the entire National Park, so for people not hiking the JMT, they might start at the same trailhead as you but have a different destination than those hiking the JMT. I think that’s why there’s that question on the form. Hope that helps and good luck!

  52. Great site, I’ve just focused on the JMT part so far. Thanks for bringing everything together and providing all the detail. My timeframe for the JMT is pretty open, hoping for a start date in late Aug to mid Sept. If I get rejected, can I just keep submiting new applications with new start dates?

  53. Hi, I have been entering the lottery every day for JMT the past week or so, I have gotten denied each time. The weird thing is that I am being denied before the deadline for the lottery. Do you know exactly how the lottery works? Normally for a lottery you would wait for everyone to submit their application before selecting, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.
    Thank you!

    1. The lottery occurs in the morning right after the deadline of 7:30am. You can submit your application anytime the day before through 7:30am the day of the lottery. Are you sure you aren’t submitting it too late?

  54. My wife and I applied for a permit from Lyell, but our dates are very limited. So in anticipation of not getting that permit we figured we would start at Mono/Parker pass and then exit the trail at Kearsarge/Onion valley (Whitney is not totally necessary). As a side note, we wanted to apply for a JMT permit from the Inyo entering Rush Creek and exiting Whitney, but we can’t secure that until the exit day arrives, and the Rush Creek trail quotas are already full. Does that make sense? Seems a little unfair. Can anyone get a permit in this way? I suppose we could get an overnight permit from Rush Creek and exit Kearsarge/Onion Valley, but it would be easier to get the Mono/Parker Pass trail head. Back to my original question: Since the Mono/Parker Pass permit is not technically a JMT permit (I swear this system is totally wack) I couldn’t put it down as a second option on my JMT permit (since there is no way to choose the exit area per choice). Can I send in two separate permits, one for the Mono/Parker Pass permit and another for the Donahue Pass permit on the same day?
    Also, an earlier comment said if you have two or people in your party all of them should send in a permit request. Is that OK? Seems fishy, but if it’s a thing you can do, I guess I would do it.
    Thank’s for the website! It’s been very helpful so far!

    1. Hey! To get a Rush Creek permit it’s a completely different application that you submit (I believe) to the Inyo National Forest permit office: http://www.fs.usda.gov/inyo/
      As far as multiple people applying for permits, you only have to list your own name on the application, so technically it is ok for other people in your group to submit an application (I haven’t found anything on Yosemite’s website that says this is not allowed). The only thing is if you were to both end up getting one, you would want to give up one of them to free up space for other people.
      Hope that helps answer some of your questions!

  55. Great site. I’ve been trying to get a permit for the last two weeks and no luck whatsoever. I’m a Canadian so planning holidays and travel times is difficult to make this work. Starting to get a bit discouraged by both the process and lack of space for this hike.
    I am still hopeful for the coming year but I really hope they receive enough feedback that they change things up for 2016. The thru rate for Donahue pass is dismally low.

    1. hey Rob – Totally agree that it’s frustrating. I’m sure some changes will be made in the upcoming year. At the same time, the permit quotas are intended to preserve the wilderness experience, so the people who do get permits have a better experience. My fingers are crossed for ya!

  56. Hi Kristen,
    Seriously awesome blog, made me feel a lot less overwhelmed preparing for this hike.On the permit application; is the exit date the date you exit donahue pass or whitney portal?
    Thank you!

  57. It took me five straight days of faxing, but I was finally approved for two permits! Thanks so much for the awesome site loaded with great suggestions and information!

  58. HI Kristen, great blog. Thanks! We’re a group of 5 hoping to draw an early September permit beginning at Happy Isles TH. Question on the application regarding ‘plan to exit Yosemite over Donahue Pass?’ Which YES do you check? Gay

  59. Happy to say that I obtained my permit after faxing five consecutive days. Great suggestions and information!! Thanks!

  60. I am having a hard time figuring out how to avoid exiting over Donahue Pass. I’m on my 10th denial and hiking into September now with the permit rate I’m going…something I wanted to avoid. I can’t find much information online about alternate routes. I am not doing the whole trail but it would break my heart to not hike out of Yosemite, plan to leave the trail at Piute Pass. Any guidance is appreciated!

  61. Hey Kristen, Been faxing in permit request for two weeks now, Still no luck. I realize the summer months are a busy time, do you think my chances will get better as September arrives Thanks. Brian

  62. Hello fellow hikers! I was hoping to hike the JMT with some friends late August/early September of this year. There are a few people in my group though that are unsure of their summer plans and if they’ll actually be able to make it on the trail. What happens if we apply, get a permit, and then an individual on the permit is unable to go? Does it make our entire permit invalid? Do we need to find another individual to fill her spot? Or does it matter if we’re one person short?

    1. If you are going to be one person short, it’s no big deal, as long as the permit isn’t in their name. But you should call the rangers office in advance and let them know in the case that it frees up a spot for someone else.

  63. Hi Kristen! Super helpful article. I\’m about to apply and I just wanted to confirm: is it 12:01 AM the day before the lottery or 12:01 PM?

  64. HeyKristen,
    I finally got a reservation confirmation for mid Aug. after 26th rejections. I can’t believe that.
    Thank you for the information that you put onto the web. That’s really help me prepare for the permit. I am excited. I am so pumped.

  65. Hi Kristen,
    Thank you. I was able to secure two for Glacier Point to Mt. Whitney after 26 times of try.
    I heard that 2016 is very difficult to apply. Anyway, I am just let you know that information that you posted on web has help tremendously.

      1. Hi Kristen,
        I completed in September 16th. Wow! What can I say. Beautiful sceneries, lakes. Experienced in small hails, snow flurries after Kearsarge pass junction and near 18 degree a few nights. All and all. One of the best hike I ever did. Thank you.

  66. Hiked the PCT from Donner Pass to Yosemite two years ago and went through Sunrise trailhead at Tenaya Lake. Climbed Clouds Rest – yes, fantastic views that we were able to take in before the smoke moved in. It’s definitely worth the hike! Then dropped to camp along Sunrise Creek and climbed Half Dome the next morning. We got an early start and were the first two on the top and had the summit to ourselves! We met the next people coming up at the bottom of the cables as we were coming down.

  67. Awesome information on the permit system. I faxed mine last night and it was sent. Now waiting to see. I decided on the Tenaya/Sunrise Lakes route. Hopefully, it get it. If not, I’ll keep trying. I do have one question. How to you obtain a permit for the Cloudrest trail, that you discussed. Do you have to reserve that now or is that available on the day that I pick up my permit for the JMT? Thanks.

    1. Hey Ned – Hope you got the permit! You don’t need a separate permit for Clouds Rest…you can just drop you bags at Sunrise Lakes and head up on a day hike. Have fun!

  68. Thank you Kristen for this excellent resource!!! I used this extensively in my prep for the JMT and I have a permit reservation to start June 1. I would like to add for your readers a few tips about the Sunrise/Tenaya trailhead for early season hikers. From this trailhead in May June and early July there will be a major river crossing right at the beginning of the trail. Park rangers said this crossing is chest high and 50-100 feet across in fresh snowmelt. They won\’t deny permits based on this but VERY strongly recommend against this trailhead if you go early in the season. Also a note that the Tioga road has variable opening dates based upon snowpack that year. The park ranger said they do not have plans to start clearing Tioga Road until June 1 of this year (2016), making shuttle services to this trailhead unavailable till that time. Hope this helps someone avoid an unfortunate surprise when they show up to start their hike.

  69. Hey Kristen, tremendous site! I want to do the JMT out of Lyell Canyon as a walk-up this summer (mid to late August) since I missed my reservation window. I saw your post from July 2015 that says most people aren’t having too much of a problem securing a permit through the walk-up system. I was just wondering how that may have changed as the summer progressed. Do you have any additional info on how easy or hard it has proved for people to get them? Thanks!

    1. Hey Raz – I don’t have any more info. The best thing you can do is call the rangers station and they can give you an idea of what’s been going on with walk up permits. Good luck!

  70. Hi Kristen,
    Your blog is AMAZING! I’m looking into doing the second part of the JMR (if that’s still possible as I don’t have any permits yet 🙁 this August)…sorry we Australians we are always a little behind! 🙂
    I would like to access the trail from the John Muir Ranch close to Bishop. for example, Bishop Pass Trail.
    1) where would I apply for these permits? or do I call the Ranch directly? I can only hope that there are walk-ins in this section of the trail, if there are no permits here.
    2) I don’t understand if it’s optional or not to do Mt Whitney, as there are no permits for the mountain area (only a lottery) so how can I complete the walk in Whitney Portal?
    Thank you for your advice!
    I’m considering the guided hike to EBC – you are advertising in October, let’s see how much leave I can get this year 🙂
    Best wishes, and thank you for your efforts in advance!!
    Sandra (from Sydney!)

    1. To enter over Bishops Pass, you’d need to apply through Inyo National Forest: http://www.fs.usda.gov/inyo/
      if you want to exit the Whitney portal, you will go over the saddle. From the saddle, you take a side trail to the summit. So the summit is optional but it would be a shame to not do it. You don’t need a separate permit for Whitney if you are granted your permit from Inyo. The lottery for Whitney is only required for people who want to enter from the Whitney Portal.

  71. Hi! Thanks for the insightful post! I was wondering if it were possible to apply for a later start date if you were denied at your first attempt? Thanks for any response!

  72. Hello,
    My friend and I are going to do the Lyell canyon route. Any info on if it’s super difficult. We were going to camp out?

  73. If your permit request is denied, can you not just apply again immediately after getting notification you’ve been denied for that particular day?

  74. Hi – you posted this earlier this year – do you by chance have that update?? Thanks in advance!
    \”Since the 10 walk-up permits for Lyell Canyon will now be the only last-minute option for JMT-hikers leaving from Yosemite, I expect that this pattern of camping in line will continue and may even get more competitive. On the other hand, it could discourage people from taking a chance. Once summer rolls around, I will update this section with new advice based on what I’m hearing about how difficult it is to get a walk-up permit for Lyell Canyon.\”

  75. Hi There,
    Any updates on ‘Walk Up’s chances of getting a JMT permit in August? I’m wondering what my chances are for August 8th or so departure?
    Thank you!

  76. Hi Kristen,
    I am planning to trek the JMT next summer and really enjoyed reading your stories. However, something is a bit unclear to me; if your permit application is unsuccessful and it doesn’t matter when in summer you hike the trail; can you apply the next day again for 3 data that are just +1 day later or earlier than your first choice?
    Hope to get more options by doing this.
    Thanks in advance,

  77. If you start the JMT at Lyell Canyon is it possible to get an additional permit permit that would allow you to hike from happy isles to Lyell Canyon?

  78. Hi there! This is super helpful! I was wondering if you had a written itinerary from your trip and where you started? Also, whats the best way to know how
    Many days you can be on the trail for? Was 22 days designed for your fitness level? Thanks!

  79. Hey Kristen,
    This blog is a huge help, thank you! It looks like there is now an option to apply for a range of dates and be entered into a rolling lottery. If I am a little bit flexible with my dates, is there any reason to fill out the traditional application (with one fixed start date and only one shot at the lottery) rather than the rolling application (with a shot at the lottery for every day within the date range that I choose).
    Here\’s the link to the NPS form and instructions for the JMT-specific rolling application: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/jmtfaxform.pdf
    It also looks like you can send the rolling application in 170 days in advance!
    Thanks so much!

  80. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences, you did a great job. I compare for months differents posts to try to figure out how to hike the JMT.
    I live in Belgium and nobody around me did the JMT or that kind of trip.
    I have sent today my application to start my hike on 17june or 18 june 2017 from Happy Isles – Sunrise creek. With my boyfriend, we plan to cross the JMT in 17 days with one resypply at Muir Ranch.
    I am a long distance runner and ride by bicycle differents countries for month (South America, Africa) but it is my first real hiking experience. My longest was a part of the Gr20 in Corse (France) (1 week).
    I will let you know if my application is accepted.

  81. I saw your new post too late…
    My permit was not accepted for the June 18 and 17damn
    But indeed they say we send just one time a fax and enter the lottery for 21 days…
    I used your indication to fill it.
    I choose the période from 06/22/2017 till 07/11/2017 and 18 days trip lenght.

  82. Hi Kristen,
    First of all, I wish you a Happy New Year, with a lot of new experiences.
    Thank\’s for your great job. You took a daunting task and made it simple and affordable. I live in Strasbourg ( border between Germany & France ), and planed my JMT with a group of 6 students, in a date range going from July 3th to 5 th. So I’m about to apply and I just wanted to confirm: It means for us : January 15th at 3:00 PM ( 9 hours time difference between W. Europe and the W. Coast ). Am I right ? If we \’re lucky, we\’ll let you know.
    Thank you so much.

  83. Hey Kristen,
    I didn\’t read the seemingly millions of comments here, so you\’ve probably heard this before, but thank you so much. This website is by the far the most useful one I\’ve found after a few hours of scouring the internet. I really appreciate your advice and guidance for this awesome trip.

  84. Hey Kristen
    I read your post but not all the comments…
    I’m trying to figure out what is possible if I get a wilderness permit from a National Forest north from Yosemite (Toiyabe or Stanislaus). I’ve read that only one permit is required but what about Donahue Pass restrictions? And what if I get a permit from a northern national forest and exit Yosemite to the south via Parker Pass, Isberg Pass or using the Sierra High Route?
    Thanks you so much!

  85. Wow, thank you for the wonderful information. It is so appreciated. Sounds like it would be easier to obtain a permit leaving the 3 kids behind and just enjoying it with my wife.

  86. Is there a good way to hike half dome if your entry trailhead is at Sunrise Lakes? From what I’m reading if I start at Sunrise Lakes, and run into the JMT at Sunrise Camp at around 14 miles. Is it do-able to stay the first night at Sunrise Camp, back track to do half dome the second day, and then continue on? I have a ride lined up the day before our permit entry date – not sure if this allows for any flexibility.

  87. Hi! Your site has been so helpful in planning my upcoming July jmt hike. Recently though, it seems that your link to the south of Yosemite access points is broken and I wanted to refer it to a friend that wants to join me last minute. Could you send me the website? Thanks!

    1. Unfortunately that site went down. I looked for another website with that information but couldn’t find one that compares. I’ll keep an eye out to see if it comes back online. In the meantime, stay tuned for our JMT section hiking post which is coming out soon!

  88. I used your website to figure out how to get the permit for JMT which was so helpful! Every other website including gov’t websites were confusing. I mailed my permit request in Late June 2017 and received my permit reservation on July 2 for Lyell Canyon in September. Thank you!

  89. Hello, your blog has been very helpful in my planning/understanding of JMT.
    Few questions. I am one of those unfortunate ones without a permit hoping to hike JMT this month. Your updated information suggests that walk-ups from Happy Isles/Glacier Point/Sunny Lakes are no longer available? Were they available in 2016? If walk-up in Toulomne is the only option for possible permit at this point – do you know any suitable place to stay for few days in Toulomne meadows while attempting my luck in wee hours? I know there is a campsite there, but like everywhere in Yosemite around this time of the year, I anticipate no vacancy..
    If the lady luck smiles at me and I land the permit, enter the JMT via Lyell canyon and complete the remainder of the trail, is it possible to return to Yosemite, and begin another hike from Happy Isle to Toulomne meadows only (without crossing Donohue pass), thereby sort of ‘completing or coming around in full circle’ to complete JMT? Your feedback/answer would be helpful and I look forward to it!
    Thank you,

  90. I love this page! It is so informative!
    I have a question about application timing and if there is a way I can increase my chances. I have several date spans that I am planning on. The first is a start date is between May 15th and June 5th. On the NPS website they say that they receive fewer applications for May start dates. Has anyone had success applying for May?

  91. Hello from Germany !!! Thank you for the Informations , alright i will fill out my permitt apply and fax it to the fax adress, 170 days before i want start for example if i want start at september 4 i will sent my permitt apply on march 19 ??
    my mail adress is fgrimm614@gmail.com thank you my friends

  92. This is quite possibly the best source for directions on how to apply for a permit for JMT. Thank you so much for putting this together. I am going to try my luck in 2018 to get a permit.

  93. Thank you so much for the detailed information. I’m looking to thru hike JMT in July. Praying that I get a permit!!

  94. Thank you so much, from France, Kristen for all of your helpful advises … we plan to walk it this summer hoping we will get a permit.

  95. What permits are required if we want to start at VVR or MTR (where we left off last yr), finishing at Whitney? Thanks

  96. Thanks for this site and keeping it updated! Has been my go-to to get ready for the permit process, which for me is tomorrow! Keep up the great work.

    1. We would like to TRADE permits for Lyell Canyon, over Donohue Pass. Our permit is for entry from Lyell Canyon Trailhead August 24, 2018 for 6 people.
      We would like to trade for same itinerary in mid to late July. Two of my sons can’t make the August dates.
      I spoke with a Yosemite Ranger today who said we can do it, just need to each submit the permit number.
      I hope this can be a “win-win” for someone!

  97. There are lots of sources for info on applying for/getting a JMT permit. So far at least, I’ve not found a single one that explains how to change the “Trip Leader,” which is exactly what we need to do. Am I just being dense/missing something? Can you help? Thanks in advance.

  98. Great info here. I have an itch to hike JMT again this year- although it sounds like I must start (I do not have advance permit) by getting a walk up permit that starts at Tuolomne Meadows through Lyell Canyon. Is this the only way to get a permit for Donohue Pass and eventual Whitney Summit! Thank you!

  99. If starting southbound at VVS to Whitney (where we left off last yr) what permits do we need? And how do we obtain them? Thanks

  100. Is it too late to apply for a trip starting in late July? Or is the only option at this point to walk up at Lyell Canyon?

    1. Hi Dan, it is essentially too late to apply for July as all permits have been given out. You best chance is Lyell Canyon if you want a JMT permit.

  101. I am trying to decipher all of this information, it’s all a bit overwhelming trying to figure out if I can do this trip… I’d like to hike the JMT entering either Sunrise Lakes or Happy Isles, start date Oct. 1. I do not have a permit as I just decided to do this a couple weeks ago. Now that I am researching it, I’m realizing the process. Wow. So, after looking into it, it seems to me that I actually cannot do this trip? Since I cannot walk-up and get a permit to be able to enter the trail at either of these locations? Is my only way to hike the JMT on Oct. 1 is to be at Lyle Canyon Ranger Station & hope that there is a walk-up permit available for the next day? And if I cannot get one, I’m just out of luck with regard to being able to hike the JMT? Just making sure I’m understanding this correctly. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Hi Ann, thanks so much for reaching out. The JMT does take a bit of prep work. I would recommend you plan to hike the JMT next summer that way you can prepare & plan adequately for the trail. October is generally when snow starts arriving in the Sierras so you also might get snowed out. Do you live in the California area? You could look into the Trans-Catalina trail or also the Lost Coast trail.

  102. If apply online two days before the 24-week lottery application time, should I apply at 12:01 a.m. two days before? EST or PST?

  103. Hi Kristen
    I hiked SOBO last summer from Tuolumne to WP. I would like to hike HI to Tuolumne this summer to “complete” the hike. Do I still go through the same permit process you describe? Shouldn’t my chances to get a permit be much better if I don’t plan on going over Donahue Pass? Thanks,

  104. If I’m able to do the hike at any time from mid-July through end of September, should I submit multiple applications in that case or wait to see if my first 21-day window for starting the hike is rejected (each day), then reapply again for the next 21 days of start dates I’m available? Until I get one?

    1. Hi Kate, great question! If you have questions regarding your reservation or you would like to make changes to an existing reservation, please call 209-372-0740. They are unable to correspond by email. I’m almost certain you are fine as the trip leader isn’t required to pick up the permit, it just has to be someone in the group but I would hate to give you the wrong answer. I would call them directly to check.

  105. Kristen, thanks for such an in-depth post on some of the “less glamorous” (but necessary) paperwork to get into the backcountry of the Sierra Nevada! I just submitted my permit to begin the trail in August. I just got back into the country after traveling around in NZ and Asia for some time and am stoked to be back and exploring the mountains of the States once again. All the best!

  106. Hi Kristen, Thanks for all the great information! I just got my permit for the 21st of September. Do you feel like I should be ok with going into October? Do you feel like I’m a little late in the season? I don’t want to rush on the trail just to avoid snow. And are all resupply places still open the 1st week of October? I am starting at Sunrise Lakes. Thanks Keith

    1. Hi Keith, congrats on getting a permit! It really varies season by season–you’ll have to check with resupply locations individually as their closure dates change yearly. It could be a little late if we have snow in Sept/Oct but it really just varies.

  107. Hi, I love this, it is so helpful. I have a question regarding resupplies. Which resupply points to use and contact numbers? If it is not too much to ask?
    Thank you

  108. Thank you so much for this! I was about to give up planning a trip from Tuolumne to the Devils Postpile because I was overwhelmed by the 2020 permit information regarding Donahue Pass. This post was extremely helpful… from the application instructions to the descriptions of the possible trailheads. If I get my permit, this will be my first multi-day backpacking trip, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Again, thank you for sharing this!

  109. Working on putting together a week on the JMT, traveling from the Northwest. Great resource, as this is a very confusing permitting system. Thank you so much! Our backup plan is a week in the Winds of Wyoming :).

    1. Glad to hear that Jeff! Good luck with the JMT permit. The Winds are one of my all-time favorite places to explore in the US – I highly recommend going! Keep an eye on snowpack, as they can still have a ton of snow even in July. The wildflowers are beautiful there. One word of advice if you go in the summer: wear mosquito netting and eco-friendly mosquito repellant. Otherwise.. it’s an epic place to backpack! JMT or the Winds..either way you’ll have an awesome trip.

  110. hoping to snag a permit from either Sunrise or Lyell, if granted how early can you pick up the permit, is the day of or can you pick it up the day before

    1. Hi Sheila! I believe you can pick up your permit the day before your hike, but it’s best to double-check with Yosemite Wilderness office.

  111. Hi Kristen,
    Thank you for sharing your experience! I am so happy you got to do this! Do you have any insight/advice about doing the JMT in the northbound direction (which would supposedly be easier to get permits for?)

    1. Hi, Christina! Thanks for your comment. I don’t have any experience with the northbound direction, though it is much easier to get permits for, as you said. Starting at Whitney would likely mean you have a heavier pack during the highest leg of the whole hike. The entire hike is beautiful so, in my opinion, you can’t go wrong either way. Come back and let us know if you do end up going!

  112. Thanks so much for all the useful information. I am wondering how long it takes to receive an email that confirms that my permit request was received. For example, I submitted the web form for southbound permit at 12:15 AM and have not received any email confirmation yet at it is now 8:50 AM (almost 8 hours later). If I don’t receive an email before 7:30 AM tomorrow (cutoff time) do I presume there was an error and try again?

    1. Hi, Celeste!
      I’m not sure how long it takes to receive a response. I suggest reaching out to the Yosemite National Park or the Inyo National Forest Wilderness Permit Office. I hope you get a permit!

  113. Hi Kristen, great blog! For 2021 you mentioned that “you can only enter your desired start date and two alternative trip preferences.”
    But on the application page I see: “If your application’s date range expires you will be notified, via email, at which time you may reapply for a new date range of up to 21 days again.”
    So I’m not seeing the two alternative limitation. I’ve also stepped through the application and wasn’t prompted for alternative trips. Are you able to confirm that is still the case?
    Thanks so much!

  114. Hi Kristen,

    Very informative, thank you. Question – I’m practicing with the lottery application site on Recreation. gov and I see how I can enter several different date options each week but it won’t allow two different trail options. Am I misunderstanding the rules? I want to put in a request for a range of dates at one trail, then enter another range of dates for a different trail. Are the “choices” only for dates? Not an option to also choose a different trail?

    Trying to figure out how to apply for both Happy Isles and Lyell Canyon to get to the JMT.


    1. Hi – thanks for reading! I just tried on Recreation.gov and was able to enter different trailhead starting points for choice #1, choice #2, etc. with multiple date ranges. You should be able to apply for both Happy Isles and Lyell Canyon. Best of luck!

  115. Hey! Thank you for the post. Is a separate permit required to summit Whitney if you are receive a southbound permit for the JMT?

  116. Hello Kristen! Thanks for all the good information. I just have one question based on the application process. There is / about 25 weeks worth of lotteries that one can apply for at $10 each. So, let’s assume that a person applies for each and every possible week and does not get selected. That person just spent $250 with no return, correct?


  117. Thanks very much for all this, Kristen. Beyond expectation I got a SoBo Happy Isles -> Past LYV permit, and the explainer on where to camp is very useful.

  118. Thanks for the thorough information. My buddy and I applied for two different weeks and were unsuccessful in getting a permit. We are planning on going with the same day permit option. We were going to try to leave on Sat 7/23 or Sun 7/24. Can you give me your best advice on how to obtain a same day permit? I thought if we booked a campsite somewhere in Yosemite Valley on Fri 7/22 we could get up at like 4 am to go to the permit office and get “in line” for a same day permit. Can you clarify if “same day” permits are given out the day before? If so, I think that would mean we could get a permit on Fri 7/22 to start on 7/23? Do you logistically know how the “line” starts or what time the exact permits start to get give out and where that happens? I’ve been in other places (Yellowstone) where there was intense competition for non reservable campsites and there was a crazy line starting at like 4 a.m. or even the night before. I have no problem rolling out a sleeping bag and sleeping out under the stars to help my chances of getting a 21 day hiking permit!

    1. Hi Grant, when I hiked the JMT I got a permit in advance, so the info for walk-up permits on the blog is based on our online research. With the permitting process getting completely overhauled this year, it looks like we missed the changes to the availability of walk-up permits this year. With all JMT permits moving to Yosemite/Recreation.gov, there is a chance to try again in the lottery for your start date 7 days ahead of time. Any unused permits will be available same day (start day), but those chances seem slimmer with the new permit process. Apologies for the conflicting info on our site – we didn’t catch that change when the new process came out and have now corrected it (thanks for bringing this to our attention!). More info can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wpres.htm under “How have first-come, first-served walk-up permits changed?”

  119. Hiya, I am really glad I have found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossips and internet and this is actually irritating. A good site with interesting content, this is what I need. Thank you for keeping this web site, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.