Permits

General permit information is on the PCTA website, including that posted below.

We expect each of the hikers we host to respect the permit quota system and start their hike on the date of their permit.  Please don’t ask us to take you to the trail on some other date; it’s not fair to us because we feel like “the bad guys” for saying no, but we feel even more that is is vital to protect the wildlands and the quality of the hiking experience, which is why the permit system was started.

Couples: If you and your partner were unable to reserve permits for the same date and you have different permit dates, we will take you both out on the same date. Choose one of your two permit dates and sign up for that date. We know life (and the permit allocation system) isn’t perfect.

From the PCTA website  (https://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail/permits/pct-long-distance-permit/):
Key things to know about the PCT long-distance permit
  • Read this entire page and do your research before you apply.
  • Permits are free.
  • Plan in advance to ensure that you get a permit.
  • Permit requests are reviewed and issued on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Long-distance permits are only for hikers and horseback riders intending to travel 500 or more miles in a single, continuous trip.
  • By using a PCT long-distance permit, you agree to abide by all terms of the permit, and all laws, rules, and regulations which apply to the areas that you pass through on the Pacific Crest Trail. This includes federal, state and any local regulations or orders that may be in effect due to Covid-19. A stay-at-home (shelter-in-place) order may affect or end your long-distance trip.
  • Each adult must get their own permit. If you’re hiking with your children who are under 18 years old, they may be attached to your permit.

The USDA Forest Service authorizes PCTA to issue permits with the following restrictions:

  • 50 permits per day for northbound trips starting between the Mexican border and Sonora Pass between March 1 and May 31; northbound section permits will not be issued in this zone during the month of June;
  • a limit of 1,400 permits for section hikers crossing the John Muir Trail overlap and 600 permits for trips starting in the Southern Sierra; and
  • 15 permits per day for southbound trips starting near the Canadian border between June 15 and September 15.
  • 8,000 total permits

If you’re doing a series of short section hikes, you’ll need to apply for local permits from the agencies that manage those sections of trail.

Opening dates for the 2022 PCT long-distance permit

We will release these permits in two phases, so if you miss getting a permit in the first phase, you’ll have the opportunity to try again.

  1. On November 9 at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time, 35 permits per day will become available.
  2. On January 11 at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time, the remaining 15 permits per day will become available.