Get Your Permit
A permit is required year-round for all overnight stays in the backcountry. A wilderness permit allows the permit holder and their group to camp in a designated camp or area. A climbing permit is required for travel above 10,000 feet or on glaciers. Permits must be obtained in person at a wilderness information center or visitor center. Advance reservations are available for peak season (June-September) on Recreation.gov.
Register for Permits During the Winter and Spring Season
Winter Camping Permits
Learn more about winter recreation.
Reservations are encouraged but not required. Approximately two thirds of summer season (June-September) backpacking and climbing permits are made available for advance reservation. Reservations must be made at least two days in advance of the trip start. The remaining one third of permits are issued on-site on a first-come, first-served walk-up basis and can be requested a maximum of one day before your trip start date.
Early Access Lottery
Because demand for trips on the Wonderland Trail and high-use climbing routes exceeds capacity during peak periods, an optional early-access lottery is available. This lottery limits the number of users competing simultaneously for multi-night itineraries, which allows for more complete itineraries overall.
All remaining reservable inventory became available on Recreation.gov starting April 27. Camps may be reserved for dates that fall between June 1 and September 30th when there are reservable spots available.
How to Apply for a Wilderness Permit Reservation During the Summer Season
Activating your Permit
After you secure a reservation, the person named on the reservation must come into a ranger station to get the permit. The ranger will confirm:
You will then receive a printed copy of your permit and a list of permit conditions. You must carry it with you on your trip. Rangers in the field may request to verify your permit during your trip.
How to Acquire a Walk-up Permit
Find a Ranger Station
In the summer, ranger stations where you can acquire permits and information are:
Most ranger stations are open seasonally, so make sure to check their hours of operation.
Last updated: November 9, 2021