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Back to the Future for Wilderness Permits in Yosemite

Looks like the new policy for 2022 manages to avoid some of the pitfalls of the last couple of years. Only 60% of the permits for each trailhead can be reserved, and those only by a lottery system--no more "fastest fingers win the prize." And the remaining 40% are available first-come-first-served to walk ups on the day before.

This is great news. It means more permits will be available to people who really do use them, as opposed to reserving out all the permits to on-line reservations months in advance. Here's what the Yosemite website says:

Wilderness Permit Reservations

You can get a wilderness permit or reservation during three different periods:

  • Reservations by lottery are available 24 weeks in advance on

  • Reservations not taken by lottery are available on a first-come, first-served basis on from about 22 weeks in advance until seven days before intended start date.

  • Permits are available in-person on a first-come, first-served basis at permit issuing stations starting at 11 am one day before intended start date.

Sixty percent of reservations are available by reservation. Forty percent of permits (plus any unused reservations) are available starting one day in advance. The processing fee is $10 per application. If you receive a wilderness permit, an additional fee of $5 per person applies. These fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. You can only apply once per weekly lottery. While there isn't an annual limit on the number of confirmed reservations you can have, you can only have six active (i.e., future) reservations at any given time. Wilderness permits are required all year, but reservations are only available for trips May through October. The Yosemite Conservancy Wilderness Office processes all permit reservation applications. Its hours are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm.

And here's a link to the page that gives even more detail:

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