Wilderness Permits allow hikers to travel Yosemite's backcountry

Wilderness Permits

Yosemite Wilderness Permits and Bear-Proof Canisters

For many hikers the ultimate Yosemite experience is heading out into the wilderness, miles and miles away from any human structures, crowds, constraints or routines.

To preserve this wilderness experience, Yosemite Conservancy partners with the National Park Service to administer wilderness permits. This permit system helps guarantee that each visitor has “outstanding opportunities for solitude.”

Wilderness permits are required for overnight trips only. Permits are not required for day hikes (except for Half Dome).

Bear-Proof Canister Rental

All overnight backpackers are also required to carry bear-proof canisters for storing food and other items.  If you do not have your own bear-proof canister we can provide a rental.

A very important part of preserving the wilderness experience is keeping bears wild. Wild bears on natural diets stay healthy and are wary of approaching hikers. Storing your food in bear-proof canisters and never feeding bears keeps both backpackers and bears safe.

Fees Support the Park

Fees collected from permits and canisters are put to work in the park, in projects ranging from wildlife protection to educational programs.

If part of your Yosemite experience is heading into the wilderness, the Conservancy is here to help you secure your permit and bear-proof canister.

Half Dome Permit Information

The cables to the summit of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park are in place now and available for hikers.  This opening date is three weeks earlier than previously scheduled due to the low snowpack. Day hikers wishing to ascend the cables between now and May 22 must apply for a two-day-in-advance permit though an online lottery, open for applications from 12 am to 1 pm. Lottery results will be available at 6 am the following day.  Day use permits for Half Dome are not available in the park. 

The regularly scheduled Half Dome season will commence Saturday, May 23. Permits for the regular season were available through a lottery during the month of March. Approximately 50 permits per day will be available on a daily basis through a two day in advance lottery beginning Thursday, May 21.  

More Information about Half Dome Permits

Apply for a Half Dome Permit Now