Application dates for the 2018 PCT long-distance permit

We’re excited about the 2018 season on the Pacific Crest Trail and we hope you are too. Some of you will be taking very long hikes or horseback rides on the trail next year. This information is for you.

The 2018 permits season opens on November 1, 2017. That’s significantly earlier than previous years. Please spread the word. Read on for details.

While this is a simple round-up of what the 2018 permit process will look like, it’s important that you read, understand and follow all the information outlined on our permit page. You’ll also find answers and important trip planning information in the Discover the Trail section of our website.

Pacific Crest Trail thru-hikers head north in May 2017. Photo by Owen Rojek

Pacific Crest Trail thru-hikers head north in May 2017. Photo by Owen Rojek

The interagency long-distance permit is only for people who are traveling 500 or more continuous miles in a single trip. If you are doing a series of section hikes, or not hiking 500 continuous miles in a single trip, you’ll need to apply for permits from the local land management agency where you will start your trip. We’re happy to explain how to do this if you need help.

The information below is for long-distance permits only.

Opening dates for the PCT long-distance permit

Starting at or near the Mexican border (both thru-hikers and section hikers)

These permits are limited to 50 people per day. 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 1 at 10:30 a.m. PT, 35 permits per day will become available.
  2. On January 17 at 10:30 a.m. PT, the remaining 15 permits per day will become available.

Starting elsewhere (Southbound thru-hikers and other section hike itineraries)

We’ll start accepting permit applications on January 17 at 10:30 a.m. PT.

Stay tuned for more details

Planning is still underway for the 2018 interagency PCT long-distance permit. As details coalesce we’ll share more information with you all.

This is a great time of year to learn about the trail

Please take a moment to check out our PCT specific Leave No Trace information. It’s up to all of us to take care of the trail and the surrounding landscape.  Following LNT practices is important for protecting the environment along the trail and ensuring that the PCT provides a wild experience for all hikers and horseback riders for years to come.

After you’ve studied up about Leave No Trace, keep learning about how to have a wonderful and safe time on the trail in our Backcountry Basics section.

Have a wonderful year on the trail!

Author: Jack "Found" Haskel

As the Trail Information Manager, Jack works to connect people to the PCT. He's involved with a wide variety of projects that help the trail, the trail's users and the community that surrounds the experience. He has thru-hiked (Pacific Crest Trail in 2006; Colorado Trail in 2008; Continental Divide Trail in 2010) and is an obsessed weekend warrior.