1. Chad
    Chad April 15, 2014 at 4:19 am

    Great advice Ray. I will be trying to get a walk up permit in August. I’ve got a permit for Happy Isles to Illioutte Falls but would really not want to backtrack.

  2. Conrad Stoll
    Conrad Stoll April 15, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Another tip: sleep on the porch 🙂 No joke, I literally slept on the porch last time and was automatically first in line.

    The last time I was there the Rangers really had a great system. As soon as they got there they rounded everyone up and explain the system to everyone. They talked to everyone who was there waiting for the 11am permits and basically got everyone’s permit situation figured out by 9, so all we had to do was wait the 2 hours to purchase them and get on the way. It was very orderly and well run.

    Another tip: listen to their bear stories! They are epic!

  3. Brian
    Brian April 15, 2014 at 11:40 am

    There’s also a great chance that you can get a same day permit. This happens when there’s a cancellation. We got in line at the Wilderness Center at 12:00 AM the night before, barely got any sleep, and ended up on the trail by 2:00 PM that day. Good thing we had a night in LYV; I don’t think I could have hiked thru on so little sleep.

  4. Eric
    Eric April 15, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Raymond I already have a permit but will be waiting in line with my brother who will be joining me. My permit is from Gp leaving on tues 07/22. We pllan on getting in line early monday morning around 2 am. To get ky brother is permit for tues. Does this look like a sound plan to you.
    tks for any advice you can give.

  5. Trinka
    Trinka April 15, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    If you want a permit for two people, do both people need to be at the Wilderness Center? Or can one person obtain the permit and the second person arrive later that day?
    Thanks for your great webpage and advice!

  6. Jon B
    Jon B April 25, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Can I pick up a permit for two people, hike to LYV solo, and have my hike partner meet me there the next day?

  7. Bill
    Bill April 26, 2014 at 4:21 am

    Ray thanks the write up! Do you see any problem with securing FOUR spots out of happy isles to LYV by spending night in line? We and my three children will have to leave around July 3rd (also a busy time I would expect). Are half dome permits also give out in the same process?

  8. Art
    Art July 22, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Nice article – thanks Ray!

    I hear there is a backdoor path from backpacker’s site to the Wilderness center.. It is straight point to point?

  9. […] As you are planning next year’s trip, use one, two, or all of the strategies above, and good luck. If you strike out, don’t despair—you can always get a walk-up permit! […]

  10. bernice suehr
    bernice suehr April 28, 2017 at 8:11 am

    I have a JMT permit with a start date of July 2, 2017 from Lyell Canyon end date July 26 Whitney Portal. Due to the snow situation I would like to start a week later. Could I pick up my permit on July 1 and just start on July 9 instead of starting on permit date July 2. If stopped by a ranger what will happen?

  11. Chris Koelma
    Chris Koelma July 10, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Hi there,

    Thanks for the great blog post! Planning to drive from SF early in the morning to be at the Yosemite Valley Wilderness station by 9:30/10am. Hoping to get a pass for the following day. Any idea on the chances of this?


  12. SF_native
    SF_native February 12, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Hi Ray,

    Just came across this great article. Since it was written in 2014, would you say all the tips still hold strong? Since I’ve been repeatedly denied from the lottery, I’m trying to get a Yosemite walk-in permit from the Tuolumne Meadows wilderness center to hike the JMT to Mt. Whitney. Do you think getting there by 4am would be enough to get a permit for two people? Any other tips would be greatly appreciated.

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