Monday, January 15, 2018

Don't Forget Your Permits for Your 2018 Hike!

Don't Forget!

The Wonderland Trail circles Mt Rainier
In several places in the western states, permits are required for popular backpacking ventures and are done by lottery or are first come, first served. And some backcountry use / camping reservations in the east are also required. Other trails, usually within national parks, require backcountry camping permits and are obtainable when you arrive at the park. Always abide by park regulations and have your backcountry permit.

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 from last year there is a capped amount of hiker permits to climb Katahdin in Baxter State Park. The permit for Shenandoah National Park can be obtained when you arrive or you can get it by mail.

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!

Western Trails

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, begins 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 mid Feb. to March

Na Pali Coast - Hawaii

Eastern Trails

Appalachian Trail

AT Thru Hiker Registry - a volunteer registry to spread out hikers. You can also register for

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 paid reservation. Please note there are different reservations for a thruhiker vs a section hiker. Be sure to obtain the correct one via their regulations.

Shenandoah National Park Free Backcountry Permits - you must have a permit to backcountry camp in the park, obtain by mail or at the kiosks as you enter 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.

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