Application dates for the 2024 interagency PCT Long-distance Permit

Hello, PCT Class of 2024!

We can’t wait to meet you and we’re thrilled that you’re coming to the trail. It’s an incredibly special place. As you plan your trip, from physical training to prepare for the adventure to refining your wilderness skills, we know that getting a permit is a key part of the journey.

PCT hikers elevate their feet while resting.

Photo by Gary Szeto.

Thirty-three different areas along the Pacific Crest Trail have permit systems in place, representing about a third of the trail. These are special places, typically designated Wilderness, where a permit helps to protect the area and ensure you have an enjoyable experience. If you plan on hiking or horseback riding 500 or more miles along the PCT in a single, continuous trip, you can apply for a PCT Long-distance Permit. The U.S. Forest Service authorizes the PCTA to issue the interagency PCT Long-distance Permit on behalf of federal and state agencies to simplify your planning, provide for long-distance travel and improve information about the trail. It allows you to travel and camp along the PCT in the many places that require permits.

Instructions to successfully apply for the PCT Long-distance Permit are located on our permit page.

Application dates for 2024 PCT Long-distance Permits

If you’re hoping to apply on a Permit Release Day, you will need to register in advance. Registration is done once per permit-year. If you registered in previous years, you must register again if you would like to apply for a permit in 2024.

  • October 24 at 10:30 AM Pacific Time through November 3 at 5 PM Pacific Time: 1st registration period
  • November 14: 1st Permit Release Day
  • November 15 at 10:30 AM through December 21 at 5 PM Pacific Time: 2nd registration period
  • January 10: 2nd Permit Release Day
  • January 11 at 10:30 AM: registration reopens

Learn more about when and how to apply for permits.

Learn more about PCT Long-distance Permits

Not sure when or where to start? First, read our page about PCT Long-distance Permits. Then, learn about when to hike the PCT. Choose a start date that meets your level of experience and ability; many people who start too early or too late encounter challenges beyond their skill level. Just because a permit is available doesn’t mean that conditions are favorable for all.

The PCT Long-distance Permit requires that you start on the date and at the location that is listed on your permit. This term is in place to protect the PCT experience and environment for everyone.

Starting in 2024, only one PCT Long-distance Permit can be issued to an individual per year. After applying, you can make changes to your application up until the permit is issued, three weeks before the start date. Once a permit has been issued, the only change that can be made is to adjust the end date and/or location. Plan your trip carefully.

These permits are free to the public. While applying, you will have the opportunity to donate to support the management and maintenance of the trail.

Submitting a permit application secures your requested date. Wait until your application is reviewed and approved before making travel arrangements.

While you are waiting, this is a great time 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. Your choices and behaviors can help protect the environment and ensure that the PCT provides a wild experience for all hikers and horseback riders for years to come.

After you’ve studied up about protecting this special place, keep learning about how to have a fun and safe time on the trail in our Backcountry Basics section.

Have a wonderful year on the trail!

Author: PCTA Staff

The mission of the Pacific Crest Trail Association is to protect, preserve and promote the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail as a world-class experience for hikers and equestrians, and for all the values provided by wild and scenic lands.