Yosemite National Park Wilderness Permits

Yosemite National Park

A wilderness permit is not required for frontcountry campgrounds, day hikes (unless hiking to Half Dome), or for staying in lodging facilities. A wilderness permit is required year-round for any overnight stay in the Yosemite Wilderness.  

Nearly 95% of Yosemite National Park is congressionally-designated Wilderness. When in the wilderness, every visitor has the responsibility to minimize their impact and practice Leave No Trace. Visit our website to learn more about Yosemite’s Wilderness History.  

In order to minimize human impact and provide visitors with opportunities for solitude, wilderness permits are only issued to a limited number of people for each trailhead each day. Since many trails are very popular, advanced reservations are recommended.

Permit & Season Information

This reservation is for an overnight wilderness permit beginning in Yosemite National Park. Wilderness permits are required for all overnight backcountry use. Permits issued by Yosemite National Park are valid for continuous wilderness travel within Yosemite National Park, and adjacent wilderness areas. 

Permit reservation requests can be made from 24 weeks to seven days in advance of the start of a trip. Walk-up permits are available at Yosemite Wilderness Permit Stations the day before or the day of trip entry. A reserved or walk-up permit must be acquired for the duration of the summer season. Outside of these dates, a wilderness permit is still required and must be obtained through self-registration .  

If you wish to enter Yosemite from an adjacent wilderness area, you must obtain a wilderness permit from the agency in which your wilderness travel began. Permits obtained from these agencies will be honored by Yosemite National Park, provided they are for continuous wilderness travel. 

Need to Know

A wilderness permit is required year-round for any overnight stay in the Yosemite Wilderness.

Wilderness camping and travel is subject to wilderness regulations . All trip participants are responsible for knowing and obeying the conditions of their wilderness permit. Routes crossing through Yosemite Valley or that walk sections of the Glacier Point and/or Tioga Road cannot be processed as one permit. If you intend to cross through Yosemite Valley, or walk along Glacier Point and/or Tioga Road at any point during this backpacking trip, you will need an additional wilderness permit to re-enter the wilderness. The maximum stay for a wilderness permit is 14 nights in Yosemite National Park.  

Application Review: Wilderness permit applications will be reviewed by Yosemite Conservancy Wilderness Reservation Staff. Follow your status closely, as you may be required to adapt your itinerary to be in compliance with wilderness regulations or seasonal closures . Please research trip planning before submitting your wilderness permit application. You are limited to one application per weekly lottery window and six future reservations at any time.

Wilderness Permit Pickup: Wilderness permits must be picked up in person at a Yosemite Wilderness Permit Station the day before, or day of your permit entry date. Wilderness permit quotas are based on the entry trailhead and entry date. If backpackers are unable to begin the trip on the entry date and at the trailhead stipulated on their permit, the permit is no longer valid. As multiple trailheads may start at the same location, an entry trailhead is defined as a starting point and a direction of travel. Trip leaders are responsible for ensuring all group members are informed of wilderness regulations and the conditions of the permit.  

Late Permit Pickup: If you expect to pick up your permit after 10:00 a.m. on your entry date, login 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. 

Cables on Half Dome: If you're planning to hike to the top of Half Dome via the Cables as part of your wilderness itinerary, you must enter the wilderness from a Half Dome eligible trailhead. These entry trailheads are: Happy Isles->Little Yosemite Valley, Happy Isles->Past LYV (Donohue Pass Eligible), Glacier Point->Little Yosemite Valley, Sunrise Lakes, Cathedral Lakes, Rafferty Creek->Vogelsang & Mono Meadow. If you enter the wilderness from one of these trailheads, your entire group is eligible to go up the Half Dome Cables. Additional fees are required. You will pay for the Half Dome portion of your permit when you pick up your wilderness permit in person at a Yosemite Wilderness Permit Station .  

John Muir Trail (Donohue Pass): Due to the increasing popularity of the John Muir Trail, a quota is in place for John Muir Trail hikers exiting Yosemite National Park over Donohue Pass. To exit Yosemite National Park over Donohue Pass, you will need to select one of the two Donohue Pass Eligible trailheads: Happy Isles->Past LYV (Donohue Pass Eligible) or Lyell Canyon (Donohue Pass Eligible). A separate Donohue Pass authorization will be issued at the same time your permit is issued.

Fee Policy

Permit fees are non-refundable. There will be no refunds offered once a purchase has been made.

Lottery Fees:

There is a $10 fee to enter a lottery. You may submit one application per group to each seven (7) day lottery window. If your lottery application is successful, you will be charged an additional $5 per person when you confirm your reservation. No part of this fee is refundable. 

Advanced Reservation and Walk-Up Fees:

There is a one time fee of $10 per permit and $5 per person for reservations acquired after the lottery and at the walk-up window. No part of this fee is refundable.

Cancellation Policy

You may cancel your permit at any time and the quota will be released and made available to others interested in acquiring a permit. There is no refund offered with cancellations.  

Changes to your itinerary may be made in advance through “My Reservations” or when picking up your permit, subject to availability. Increasing group size will incur additional fees. It is not possible to change the entry date or the trip leader of a reservation. If you wish to change your entry date or trip leader, you must make a new reservation. 

Contact Information

Mailing Address

PO Box 545 Yosemite National Park CA 95389

Phone Number

(209) 372-0740

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