JMT permits

JMT permits are in high demand. There are more people interested in hiking the John Muir Trail than the trail can handle. If you can’t get a permit, you might need to hike somewhere else on the PCT or in the Sierra Nevada off of the JMT/PCT corridor.

The John Muir Trail runs from the Happy Isles trailhead in Yosemite Valley to the summit of Mt. Whitney near the Whitney Portal trailhead on Inyo National Forest. Wilderness permits in the Sierra Nevada are under a quota system that prevents crowding on the trail and protects the environment. John Muir Trail permits go quickly. Plan ahead.

You’ll get a permit from the agency that manages the trailhead that you’re starting at. Read our main permit page for more information. While you’re at it, please review the JMT regulations.

You’ll need a wilderness permit for the JMT

If you’re hiking the JMT starting at the northern terminus, you’ll need a permit from Yosemite.

Yosemite wilderness permit reservations are available from Yosemite National Park. Read the JMT permit page on Yosemite’s website. If you hope to reserve a permit, you should apply in advance.

The official northern terminus of the JMT is at the Happy Isles trailhead in Yosemite Valley.

If you’re hiking the JMT starting at the southern terminus, you’ll need a permit from Inyo National Forest.

Whitney Portal permits for the JMT can be reserved via These permits are in extremely high demand and are issued using a lottery system.

The official southern terminus of the JMT is on the summit of Mt. Whitney. Most people access the summit from Whitney Portal, a trip of about 11 miles.

Can the PCTA issue me a permit for the JMT?

We’re sorry, but we cannot. We only issue permits for trips of 500 miles or more. John Muir Trail thru-hikers and riders are not eligible for the PCT Long-distance Permit. We’re happy to advise you on how to get JMT permits from the appropriate sources.

↑ Back to top