How to Apply for a National Park Backcountry Permit
By Michael Lanza
You want to backpack in Yosemite, Grand Teton, Glacier, Zion, Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountain, Mount Rainier, or another popular national park this year? For trips in many parks, you need to know when and how to apply in advance for a backcountry permit reservation, to ensure you’re able to take your dream trip. In this video, I’ll walk you through the steps of applying for a backcountry permit online, so that you’ll know how to navigate a process that can seem complicated when you submit your own permit application.
Each national park has its own process for applying for a permit reservation, but there are general similarities, so once you’ve been through it with one park, you’ll better understand how to go through it with other parks. The parks also vary in when they start accepting permit applications—often at least two months and as much as six months in advance—and it’s critical to know when to apply and do it as soon as the process opens up.
In the video below, you’ll watch me actually go through the online process of applying for a permit to backpack the Wonderland Trail in Mount Rainier National Park. In the video, I also share the best tricks for improving your chances of obtaining a permit for a popular trip like the Wonderland.
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