U.S. Wilderness Permits – May Permit Release

Don’t wait until it’s too late to plan and reserve your permits for some of the most amazing wilderness areas in the United States. Permits and lotteries are released to the public throughout the year. Most of the U.S. wilderness areas require some type of passes, whether it be for camping, hiking, backcountry, or more. Most importantly, many of these permits may need to be requested up to 6-months to a year in advance.

This blog is designed to help you understand which required permits will be released throughout the month of May, to help you plan your outdoor adventure trips for the rest of 2021!

Remember that it’s important to always be prepared and to know the risks before you go.

Do your research, plan ahead, and have fun!

Keep it wild and leave no trace.

Inyo National Forest – Wilderness Permits

On May 1, 2021, the number of people allowed in per day is limited. Permits required.

Located in California’s beautiful Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, Inyo National Forest offers challenging trails, high mountain peaks, and unparalleled views. Several of our trails give entry to the John Muir Trail or Pacific Crest Trail with the opportunity to trek in the longest roadless section of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Our trails offer possibilities for hiking, photography, peak bagging, fishing, or simply enjoying the pristine beauty of the High Sierra. Whether you are seeking solitude, exceptional scenery, or sharing a wilderness adventure, there are many ways to create a memorable experience. 

Season Dates, Permit Information:

A wilderness permit is required year-round for overnight trips into John Muir, Ansel Adams, Golden Trout and Hoover Wilderness, and Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite National Parks. Only the leader or alternate specified in the reservation may pick up or use the permit. 

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Wilderness Permits

On May 28, 2021, daily entry is limited by the number of people and entry points. A recreation fee is required.

Sequoia and Kings National Parks protect one of America’s most diverse, rugged, and scenic landscapes. Well-known destinations such as Mount Whitney and popular itineraries such as the John Muir Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, High Sierra Trail, and Rae Lakes Loop are heavily traveled and there is high demand for limited entry. The relatively accessible lake basins near Lodgepole and Mineral King are busy on weekends but can be quiet mid-week. Lesser-known destinations such as the Monarch Divide, Roaring River country, eastern slopes of the Great Western Divide, and the Hockett Plateau can offer outstanding opportunities for solitude throughout the year.

Season Dates, Permit Information:

This reservation is for a quota season permit for overnight visitation of wilderness and backcountry areas of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (SEKI). Permits issued by SEKI are valid for continuous wilderness and backcountry travel in the Sequoia, Sierra, and Inyo National Forests (NF) and Yosemite National Park, subject to those agencies’ conditions.

To enter SEKI from the Jennie Lake Wilderness obtain a SEKI permit for the JO PassBelle Canyon, or Sugarloaf entry points; to enter from the Deer Cove area of the Monarch Wilderness, obtain a SEKI permit for the Lewis Creek entry point. 

To enter SEKI from the Inyo NF, Sierra NF, Golden Trout portion of the Sequoia NF, or Yosemite NP obtain permits from those agencies; those permits are valid for continuous travel in SEKI.

Exiting wilderness overnight in SEKI ends continuous travel and invalidates the permit for further use.

Canyonlands National Park Overnight Backcountry Permits

May 10, 2021, All locations for September 10 – December 9 are available for reservation starting at 8:00 AM MT. Reservations close two days prior to a trip start date.

Canyonlands National Park is a wilderness of countless canyons and fantastically formed buttes carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries. Rivers divide the park into four districts: Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and the rivers themselves. The park preserves the natural beauty and human history throughout its four districts. While they share a primitive desert atmosphere, each offers different opportunities for wildness and solitude. Though they appear close on a map, there are no roads that directly link the districts. Traveling between them requires two to eight hours by car as there are no locations in the park to cross the river without a boat.  

Season Dates, Permit Information:

Permit required for all backcountry overnight camping trips.

  • Mountain bikers and four-wheel drivers (includes motorcycles; OHVs are not allowed) must camp in designated site, stay on established roads.
  • Backpackers/packrafters in heavily traveled areas, primarily Needles, must camp in designated sites while most at Island in the Sky or Maze camp in at-large zones and choose their own low impact sites following strict Leave No Trace principles and park regulations. 
  • Camping within 1/2 mile or 1,000 vertical feet of the rivers is not allowed without a packraft or separate river permit and all required equipment.
  • All sites/zones become available for reservation 4 months in advance of the start of each season.  

Bob Bear Trailhead

May 1, 2021, Permits for June 2021 Become Available

The Bob Bear Trail provides access to the headwaters of the Fossil Creek Wild and Scenic River and the Fossil Springs Wilderness on the Tonto and Coconino National Forests. The trail begins at an elevation of 5,700 feet on Deadman Mesa near the town of Strawberry and descends 1,500 feet over 4 miles into the Fossil Creek canyon. The trail offers a remote, backcountry experience and is steep and extremely hot during the summer, but rewards visitors with access to one of Arizona’s most spectacular riparian areas.

Season Dates, Permit Information:

Advance permits are required to park a vehicle in the Fossil Creek permit area from April 1–October 1. During this season, a maximum of one permit per person per calendar month may be reserved (one permit=one day). Permits are made available on the first of the month one month ahead of time.

The permit allows parking for one vehicle only at the Bob Bear Trailhead parking lot. The maximum vehicle length is 22 ft. All persons listed on the permit must be accommodated inside the vehicle with a legal seatbelt. The permit guarantees parking within the specified parking lot, but specific parking space assignments are not made. Parking spaces are occupied on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Permits are not required from October 2–March 31.

Paria Canyon Overnight Permits

On May 1, 2021, reservations were accepted for August.

Nationally known for its beauty, the Paria Canyon has towering walls streaked with desert varnish, huge red rock amphitheaters, sandstone arches, wooded terraces, and hanging gardens.

Paria Canyon, Buckskin Gulch, and Wire Pass combine to form one of the longest slot canyon systems in the United States. Portions of the permit area are included in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Kanab Field Office, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

The Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness contains a variety of scenic, geological, historical, biological, and recreational values. Paria Canyon is noted for its scenery caused by erosion of the sedimentary rocks in the 2,500’ deep canyon producing a variety of unusual geological features such as arches, amphitheaters, and massive sandstone walls. At the Arizona-Utah border the Paria Canyon and its tributary, Buckskin Gulch, form spectacular ‘narrows’ only a few feet wide in places and several hundred feet deep.

Opportunities for visitors to experience solitude vary from good to outstanding, depending on the area of use. Excellent opportunities exist for a variety of primitive and unconfined types of recreation. Backpack through water-sculpted narrows and colorful geological layers on your

Season Dates, Permit Information:

This permit is required in order to camp overnight in the canyon. You must apply for, obtain, and purchase a permit in advance and pick up your permit in person within 10 days of the start date of your trip. Reservations are accepted at 12:00 noon (MDT) on the 1st of each month for a permit during the third month ahead.

Coyote Buttes South

On May 1, 2021, Reservations were accepted starting at 12 noon MDT for a permit during August.

Coyote Buttes South is just a small part of the 112,500 acres Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, but it includes some of the most visually striking geologic sandstone formations in the world. This area requires hiking in deep sand. There are no designated hiking trails or specific destinations in Coyote Buttes South. Hikers enjoy exploring and discovering their own routes. This remote area offers an opportunity for solitude where you will very likely see no one or have only occasional contact with other visitors. Permit holders should be in good physical condition and have good backcountry hiking and navigation skills.

Season Dates, Permit Information:

This permit is required to visit the Coyote Buttes South permit area. The area is designated day-use only (no overnight). Reservations are accepted at 12:00 noon (MDT) on the 1st of each month for a permit during the third month ahead. Reservations are not accepted for trips beginning the day of or the next day.

The Wave – Coyote Buttes North

On May 1, 2021 Lottery opened to applications for permits during September.

Coyote Buttes North is just a small part of the 112,500-acre Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness but has some of the most visually striking geologic sandstone formations in the world, including The Wave.

Coyote Buttes North Permit Area is within a backcountry, undeveloped wilderness area and does not contain any developed trails or facilities. Permit-holders are given a route description, which includes a route map, photo guide, and GPS coordinates along the suggested route to the Wave. The hike to the Wave is a physically demanding 6.4-mile round-trip hike. Permit-holders should be in good physical condition and be comfortable navigating in undeveloped areas.

Season Dates, Permit Information:

This permit is required to visit the Coyote Buttes North permit area, which features “The Wave.” The area permits day-use only (no overnight). Wishful permit holders may enter the lottery at any time during a calendar month. Although they are entering that calendar month, they are applying for a permit for the calendar month four months ahead. Application fees for all applicants will be charged at the time of application. Following the application process, two email confirmations will be sent. The first will be the application receipt of payment. The second will confirm permit application information. The lottery is run on the first of the next month at 9:00 am and all applicants are notified (immediately following the lottery) via email, whether they were selected or not. Permit winners will be asked to log back in to confirm the winning permit, complete any remaining information and submit payment. Each individual may submit only one application per lottery.

All information was copied and retrieved from

This page is just to provide a collection of all permits that will be released in May 2021.

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