April 6, 2023
Guide to Booking Popular Hiking Permits for Summer 2020
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
When you want to get a popular hiking permit in a national park, it’s a good idea to book your campsite, too. 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 your national park campsite about 5 months in advance for the summer months.
All campground reservations must be 3 Nights / 4 Days
$100 per person per weekday night
$125 per person per weekend night (Friday/Saturday/Sunday nights)
Havasupai/Havasu Falls Campground no longer accepts walk up or phone reservations. 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 2020 season opens up.”
Canadian Rockies: Banff, Jasper, and Yoho National Parks
When to Book:
In Banff and Yoho National Parks, backcountry permits open reservations as early as January 23, while some car camping reservations are open starting January 8, 2020 at 8am MST. In Jasper National Park, reservations for car camping open January 24 and backcountry permits open January 7.
Requests must be faxed, mailed or brought to the Backcountry Information Center (North or South rim) in person. For more information including seasonal hiking tips, trail information, Leave No Trace, Hike Smart, and private stock requirements visit www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/backcountry.htm
Half Dome, Yosemite National Park
When to Book:
The preseason lottery application period for Half Dome, Yosemite National Park is March 1 through March 31, 2020. Lottery results will be announced mid-April.
There is also a daily lottery offering a limited amount of permits. The application period is two days in advance of the desired hiking date, from midnight to 1 p.m. Pacific Time. Applicants will receive notification of results late on the application date.
You can find more information on their permit process for the North area here or the South area 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.
Enchantments basin from Prusik pass
The Enchantments, Washington
When to Book:
Overnight permits for the Enchantments are required for any multi-day trip between May 15 and October 31 and are bookable between February 15 – February 29, 2020.
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 popular hiking 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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