|The Wonderland Trail circles Mt Rainier|
There are several permits required to either camp /hike the Appalachian Trail in certain areas. Be sure to take advantage of the Appalachian Trail thru hiker registry. Also you will need permits to camp in the Great Smoky Mountains. NEW in 2017 there will be a capped amount of hiker permits to climb Katahdin in Baxter State Park. The permit for Shenandoah Nat'l Park can be obtained when you arrive.
Be sure to check your timetable for your hike and when you need to submit for certain hiking permits. Some are also by lottery and close by certain dates. Don't miss out!
Wonderland Trail Permit - begins March 15th
Mt Whitney Permit - By lottery. Applications accepted Feb 1 until March 15th.
PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) - different permits depending on whether you are doing a short section or a thru hike, begin early Feb.
John Muir Trail Permit (via Yosemite National Park) - up to 24 weeks in advance
The Cables of Half Dome - Yosemite National Park (day hike) - Preseason lottery in March 1st to the 31st. Advance 2 day lotteries begin in May.
Zion National Park - The Narrows, three months in advance
Enchantment Permit Area - In the Cascades of Washington State, lottery opens Feb. 15th to march 2.
Na Pali Coast - Hawaii
AT Thru Hiker Registry - a volunteer registry to spread out hikers
Paid reservations for backcountry sites in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (online only, within thirty days of your planned stay, need a printed permit. Includes thru hikers of the Appalachian Trail. **Also if you plan to do the BMT - Benton MacKaye Trail - through the park or on other trails you need a permit.
Shenandoah National Park Free Backcountry Permits - you must have a permit to backcountry camp in the park
NEW Climbing Katahdin in Baxter State Park. If you are hiking Katahdin in Maine via the Appalachian Trail, you must have a permit. There is a capped amount that will be given out for Northbound, Southbound, Section hikers, and Flip Floppers.