Permits

Permits for travel along the Pacific Crest Trail are required in some but not all areas of the trail.

Stay off the Pacific Crest Trail during the COVID-19 pandemic

Please stay off the Pacific Crest Trail. Due to COVID-19, you are legally required to avoid non-essential travel and shelter-in-place throughout most of the U.S., including in California, Oregon, and Washington. Long-distance hiking on the PCT is non-essential travel. Read our COVID-19 statement.

A message from the Forest Service regarding permits

March 31 update

As the lead administrator for the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, the Forest Service takes seriously our agency’s motto: “Caring for the land and serving the people.” That enduring value guides us as we face the difficult challenge of responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the people who have been affected by this unprecedented event and we appreciate the magnitude of the impact on healthcare workers and communities around the globe. It will no doubt touch each of you as well.

As you are likely aware, the terms of your PCT long-distance permit require you to start at the permitted location on the permitted start date and comply with local regulations. This allows the distribution of hikers and equestrians in a manner that minimizes your impact to the trail and maximizes access opportunities. Permit holders must comply with all terms and conditions of the permit or the permit may be invalidated and revoked. As a result of additional closures along the trail, the previous accommodations for changing start dates, published March 16, no longer apply for trips starting after April 1, 2020.

Be advised that your PCT long-distance permit is valid only on public lands that are open for travel. You can no longer complete a thru-hike due to public land and facility closures.

Please follow state, local and federal guidelines.

Please be patient, as the situation is unprecedented, dynamic and rapidly changing. In this climate, we know that these changes are stressful, your safety and wellbeing is our highest priority.

Thank you,

Beth Boyst

USFS Pacific Crest Trail Administrator

Updates to the PCT permit system due to COVID-19

March 23, 2020 update

Previously issued Cleveland National Forest PCT Developed Camping Permits for future dates during peak season (now through May 31, 2020) are no longer valid.

March 20, 2020 update

The Canada Border Services Agency has temporarily suspended all Canada PCT Entry Permit application processing.

March 20, 2020 update

Given the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, for the time being, per U.S. Forest Service direction:

  • All canceled PCT long-distance permits, regardless of direction and starting location, will not be reissued for others to use.
  • New or pending PCT long-distance permits requests are not being accepted or approved. See CDC and state guidelines for local travel on the PCT. Contact local U.S. Forest Service or National Park Service offices regarding local permits.
  • There has been no decision made on whether to re-open the permit process later this year.
  • There has been no decision made on transferring canceled permits from 2020 to 2021.
  • We hope to announce when you can apply for 2021 permits sometime in August; this is tentative. We hope to address canceled 2020 permits at that time.

Are you doing a long or short trip?

Other types of permits

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