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? 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.

See my “10 Tips For Getting a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit.”

Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside, which has made several top outdoors blog lists. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip. Please follow my adventures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.

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 (which I obtained; click here now to read about that trip). In the video, I also share the best tricks for improving your chances of obtaining a permit for a popular trip like the Wonderland.

Enjoy it and good luck applying for your permit.

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See all of my stories about national park adventures at The Big Outside and my Youtube channel for all of my blog’s videos.


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