January 14, 2019
Guide to Booking Popular Hiking Permits for Summer 2019
Planning your bucket list road trip for the summer? While we’re all in favor of allowing for room for spontaneity in your trip planning, there are a few items you should lock down as soon as possible before they sell out: National Park campsites, Escape campervans, and popular hiking permits.
Booking National Park Campsites
There is some great free and dispersed camping outside of many of our National Parks. However, for parks like Yosemite, it can take a couple of hours to drive into the Valley where many of the popular attractions are. All that driving can cut into your time to actually explore the park if you don’t find camping beforehand, so we advise booking about 5 months in advance for the summer months.
We start to sell out for the summer months as early as February – March, so if you’ve been eyeing a campervan, be sure to book your trip soon to secure your desired trip dates, pick up and drop off locations, and campervan model.
Booking Popular Hiking Permits
Zion National Park
When to Book:
Permits for backcountry camping and a top-down day hike of the Zion Narrows are available online up to three months in advance.
From their website: “Since the entire season completely sold out almost instantly on last year’s Opening Day, be sure to create an account now – and then come back, sign in to your account, and be ready to go by 8 AM on February 1st when the reservation calendar for the entire 2019 season opens up.”
Canadian Rockies: Banff, Jasper, and Yoho National Parks
When to Book:
Some backcountry permits open reservations as early as January 24, while some car camping reservations are open starting January 8, 2019.
You can find more information on their permit process here. Only 10 people are granted access for the North Coyote Buttes per day through the lottery system. Since just 4-5% of entrants are able to secure a permit this way, this is one of those rare cases where you have better odds at the in-person lottery, which is held every day at the Grand Staircase-Escalante Visitors Center between 8:30—9:00 a.m. Utah time for the next day’s trip. Only one person per group can enter the lottery per day, otherwise you risk being disqualified.
The Enchantments, Washington
When to Book:
Overnight permits are required for any multi-day trip between May 15 and October 31 and are bookable between February 15 – March 2, 2019.
Non-refundable reservation fee of $6, plus a recreation fee of $5.00/person/day if you are awarded a permit.
What if I don’t get the permit I wanted?
There are plenty more incredible hikes and campgrounds to choose from! Visit our blog for more trip ideas and tips on where to hike and camp.
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