U.S. Wilderness Permits – April Permits

U.S. Wilderness Permits Available to apply for in April

Are you ready for an unforgettable adventure in the wilderness areas of the United States? It’s a breathtaking experience that everyone should try, but don’t wait until the last minute to plan and reserve your permits.

Permits and lotteries are released throughout the year, and it’s crucial to ensure you have the right passes to make the most of your time in the great outdoors. From camping to hiking, and backcountry passes, there is no shortage of adventure opportunities, and with such high demand, it’s important to plan ahead.

In fact, many of these permits need to be requested up to a year in advance to secure your spot. So this year, why not get ahead of the game and start planning now? This blog has been designed to highlight which required permits will be released throughout April, making it even easier to plan your perfect outdoor adventure for the rest of 2024!

Remember that it’s important always to be prepared and know the risks before you go. Do your research, plan, and have fun! Keep it wild and leave no trace

You will need an America The Beautiful Pass to enter many of these National Parks and other wilderness locations. Get your card now so it’s one less thing you have to think about on the road. 

Don't Miss Permits - Events That Happen Once A Year

Congaree National Park - Firefly Viewing

Near Gadsden, South Carolina

Lottery Opens:
Lottery Closes:
Results Announced:
Event Dates:
April 4, 2024, 10:00 AM EDT
April 10, 2024, 10:00 AM EDT
April 16, 2024
May 16 - 25, 2024

If you’re a fan of mesmerizing firefly displays, you’ve got to check out Congaree National Park. Every spring, these little synchronized fireflies put on a spectacular light show, making it a hotspot for nature enthusiasts.

The show happens for about two weeks around mid-May, marking the beginning of summer. During May 16th – 25th, the park is limiting entry to 145 vehicles with event passes distributed through a lottery system. It’s a popular event, so this makes sure everyone gets a fair shot.

Quick heads up park gates close at 4:30 PM, and only ticket holders can access the Firefly viewing area starting at 7:00 PM. If you’re planning to swing by on non-event days, keep in mind that front country areas close at 4:30 PM.

For more deets, check out the park’s Fireflies webpage.

Image collected from TimeOut

Seasonal Permits

Zion National Park - Hike Angels Landing

Summer 2024 (Hikes on June 1st – August 31st)

April 1, 2024 - April 20, 2024
Seasonal lottery for summer dates (June 1- August 31, 2024)
April 25, 2024
Notification of results of summer seasonal lottery

There’s a new permit program for hiking Angels Landing, designed to make your experience smoother and keep the trail in top shape.

Starting now, if you want to hike the half-mile section from Scout Lookout to Angels Landing, you’ll need a permit. This applies year-round and at all times of the day. Nab your permit through the Seasonal or Day-before Lottery, and you’re good to go.

Quick tip: West Rim Trail to Scout Lookout doesn’t need a permit. 

Remember, a permit doesn’t guarantee a hike; it depends on conditions. The park shuttle is your ticket to the trailhead, so check the website for shuttle dates. If parking’s a puzzle, look for alternatives or swing by later.

For the Seasonal lottery, pick up to 7 days and times you’re free, listing your top choices first. The lottery uses a ranked choice system, and if your top pick slips away, you might snag another. You can bring up to six buddies (including you) on the same application.

There’s a $6 non-refundable app fee, covering the lottery process. If you snag a permit, there’s an extra $3 per person fee, ensuring NPS rangers are around to assist and check permits.

Pro tip: Print or download your permit before hitting Zion; connectivity’s a bit dodgy. Rangers might ask for it along the trail, so keep it handy!

Grand Canyon National Park Backcountry Permits

Starting April 1, 2024 - Lottery for early access becomes available for August 2024

Application Deadline
Lottery Results Available
Early Access Period
Permit Timeframe
Tue, Apr 1, 2024
Tue, Apr 2, 2024
Thu, Apr 4, 2024 - Thu, Apr 18, 2024
This lottery provides an opportunity to access permit inventory early and book a reservation for the following dates: Thu, Aug 1, 2024 - Sat, Aug 31, 2024

You can now secure your Grand Canyon National Park Backcountry Permits conveniently through recreation.gov. No more hassle of filling out printed forms and mailing them in – the permit process, including the Rim to Rim trail, has shifted online. Win the advance lottery, and you’ll gain early access to book your preferred trip dates. For those planning a Rim to Rim hike, targeting May and June is recommended for milder weather and a reduced risk of Monsoon season concerns.

Grand Canyon uses a monthly lottery to ensure fair consideration of earliest requests for Backcountry Permits:

Lottery Applications: Applications are accepted over a 2-week period.

Lottery Run: The lottery is run late on the 2nd of the month. It randomly reorders all applicants, giving the top 750 (in groups of 15) a date and time (a “timeslot”) to log back in and make an actual itinerary reservation if space is available. 

Timeslot: When your timeslot comes up (or any time or day after), you can login, make 1 itinerary reservation if available, call and obtain BIC Ranger assistance, and pay. 

Open to All: After the lottery month is over, everyone can check availability and make reservations (if space is available).

Mount St. Helens Climbing Permit

April - May 2024 Daily Climber Permits

Application Start Date
Event Date
April 1, 2024 - May 14, 2024
Limited to 350 climbers per day

Ready for an epic climb? Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, nestled in Southwest Washington on Gifford Pinchot National Forest, awaits!

Flashback to 1980: This once majestic 9,677 feet (2,950 meters) peak was the fifth-highest in Washington. Dubbed the Mount Fuji of America, it was a snow-covered beauty. Then came the May 18 eruption, reshaping the landscape. Now, the horseshoe-shaped crater at 8,365 feet (2,550 meters) offers a surreal view.

Today, Mount St. Helens beckons climbers of all levels. It’s a non-technical climb, perfect for the physically fit who don’t mind some rugged scrambling. The summit promises breathtaking panoramas of neighboring peaks, the ’80s crater, and beyond.

📅 Year-round Requirement: Climbing permits are a must, ensuring your safe exploration in the Mount St. Helens Closure Area #2.

👥 Group Size: Limited to 12 per group, these permits cover a 24-hour climbing window.

🚫 Quota Period: From April 1 to October 31, a daily quota curbs the number of climbers to protect the environment.

📅 Permit Release: Released monthly on the first day of the preceding month at 7:00 AM Pacific Time. Act fast! April permits, for instance, drop on March 1.

🖨️ Printing & Changes: Print your permit up to 14 days before your climb, but note, changes post-printing aren’t on the cards.

⛰️ Off-Season Perks: Outside the quota period, permits are free and self-issued at the trailhead.

Monthly Permits

Coyote Buttes North - THE WAVE

On April 1, 2024, Lottery opened to applications for permits during August 2024.

Application Start Date
Event Date
April 1, 2024 - April 30, 2024
Lottery open to applications for permits during August
April 1, 2024
Results for permits during August

Have you ever heard of Coyote Buttes North? It is such an incredible spot within the breathtaking Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs wilderness area that you simply must see! The sandstone formations there are some of the most impressive in the world, and The Wave in particular is definitely worth checking out. While it’s important to note that there are no trails or facilities, permit-holders can benefit from having a guide complete with pictures, a map, and GPS to help navigate the area. The hike to The Wave can be challenging, but it’s achievable with some effort and prior preparation. Be sure to inquire about recent weather when planning your trip, as the road to the permit area may require a high-clearance two-wheel-drive, and four-wheel-drive or alternate arrangements may be necessary in certain conditions. 

Permits are required to visit the Coyote Buttes North wilderness area, otherwise known as “The Wave”.  These are day-use only, no overnight permits are allowed, which means no camping. Wishful permit holders may enter the lottery anytime during April for your chance at August permits.

The lottery is run on the first of the next month at 9:00 am EST, and applicants are notified (immediately following the lottery) via email whether they were selected or not. Permit winners must log back in to confirm the winning permit, complete any remaining information and submit payment by the 15th of the month or forfeit the permit. Each individual may submit only one application per lottery. 

How Does the Quota Work for this Permit?

  • The quota for this permit is measured in persons and/or groups visiting the area per day. A daily maximum of 64 people are permitted to visit Coyote Buttes North.
  • 48 people and/or 12 groups (whichever comes first) are awarded through the online lottery system.
  • The other 16 people and/or four groups (whichever comes first) are awarded through the Daily Lottery, a separate process from this online lottery.
  • The maximum group size is 6 people.
  • Everyone, regardless of age, must be included in the permit. This includes infants that are not walking.
  • Dogs do not count against the quota, but must be included on the permit and also require a fee. This process occurs during the confirmation of a successful lottery application.Fe

Coyote Buttes South Advanced Permit

Lottery opens for July 2024 Permits

Application Start Date
Event Date
April 1, 2024
Reservations accepted starting at 12 noon MST for a permit during July

Coyote Buttes South is a total must-visit spot! Covering 112,500 acres of the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, it’s home to some of the most amazing and mind-blowing sandstone formations you’ll ever see. Keep in mind that hiking here means trekking in deep sand, but trust us, it’s totally worth it! There aren’t any designated hiking trails or specific spots to go to, so go ahead and explore in your own way! Make sure you’re fit and have backcountry hiking and navigation skills before you go, and you’re all set!


To help protect yourself and the wilderness experience, please take the following precautions:

  • Four-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicle is required for Cottonwood Cove & Paw Hole Trailheads. The roads accessing these trailheads are composed of deep sand with sections of rough rock.
  • Lone Tree is the only trailhead that may be accessible with a two-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicle when road conditions are good. However, accessing the permit area using this option adds an additional 5-mile round trip hike through deep sand.
  • Check weather forecasts at the Paria Contact Station, the GSENM Kanab Visitor Center, or online before you go.
  • Tell a responsible person your itinerary and whom to contact if you are overdue.
  • If you carry an emergency beacon or SPOT, know how and when to use it. False alarms put rescuers at risk and can cause lasting damage to the canyons.
  • Carry at least a gallon of water per person in hot weather. 

Paria Canyon Overnight Permits

Lottery opens for July 2024 Permits

Application Start Date
Event Date
April 1, 2024
Reservations accepted starting at 12 noon MST for a permit during July

Paria Canyon is super beautiful and has huge red rock amphitheaters, sandstone arches, and hanging gardens – it’s nationally known for its beauty. Plus, it’s actually part of one of the longest slot canyon systems in the United States, which is made up of Paria Canyon, Buckskin Gulch, and Wire Pass.

If you’re after solitude, Paria Canyon’s a great place to be. You can backpack through the water-sculpted narrows and colorful geological layers, and the views are pretty stunning too. Just remember that there aren’t really any marked trails, drinking water sources can be few and far between, and you might not run into many other visitors. There are also some tricky obstacles to be aware of, like quicksand, deep mud, and canyon obstructions – so be prepared, take precautions, and stay safe. If you’re planning on hiking in a slot canyon, make sure you check the weather for the whole watershed first!

This permit is required 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 ten days of the start date of your trip. 

How Does the Quota Work for this Permit?

Overnight entry into the canyons is limited to 20 people daily (dogs do not count against this total). This is a cumulative total from all four trailheads. No more than ten people per group. If your group is larger than ten, you must split into two groups of no more than ten people; each group must enter the area on a separate day and is not permitted to travel with, enter or exit with, or camp with the other group. You cannot hold more than one permit per permit area simultaneously. Everyone, regardless of age, must be included in the overnight permit. This includes infants that are not walking.


Mount Margaret Backcountry

April - Permits for May 2024 released

May 1, 2024 - November 30, 2024
Permits required. Snow usually limits access prior to mid May.
April 1, 2024
Permits for May 1 - May 31 released.

Update for 2024: Mount Margaret Backcountry Permits now come with a $7 per person, per night fee.

Nestled in the northeast corner of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, this backcountry offers excellent backpacking opportunities. Explore eight designated campsites scattered throughout high-elevation lakes and jagged ridgelines, providing a rugged hiking experience. Trails wind through a forest transformed by the 1980 eruption, revealing a regenerated landscape with young fir and alder trees, wildflowers, and berry bushes. While the trails are steep and challenging, the unparalleled views of Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier, and the Cascade Range, coupled with serene solitude, make it worth the trek.

To preserve natural resources and avoid crowding, permits are required for overnight camping between May 1st and November 30th. Note that the area may be inaccessible due to snow until late spring or early summer, and early-season access is typically from the State Route 504 trailheads. Camping is only allowed at designated sites, with a group size limit of 4 persons (8 persons at Ridge Camp). Permits can be printed up to 14 days before your reservation date, and changes are not allowed after printing.

If you can’t make your reservation, please cancel promptly to allow others the opportunity to visit. Permits are released in one-month increments on the first day of the preceding month, starting at 7:00 AM Pacific Time.

Bob Bear Trail

March 1st - Permits for April 2024 released

March 1, 2024
Permits are available to purchase for the following month of April.

The Bob Bear Trail is calling, offering an epic journey for those who love hiking and jaw-dropping views. Starting at 5,700 feet on Deadman Mesa near charming Strawberry Town, this trail descends 1,500 feet over four miles into the breathtaking Fossil Creek canyon. Your reward? Access to one of Arizona’s most spectacular riparian areas!

Now, a heads up – the trail can get steep and scorching hot during summer. To ensure a safe and unforgettable experience, pack at least one gallon of water per person, some snacks, and don sturdy shoes. Safety first, folks!

Oh, and here’s the lowdown on permits: If you plan to park in the Fossil Creek permit area from April 1 to October 1, you need an advance permit. Only one permit per person per calendar month is allowed, and they’re up for grabs on the first of the month, one month ahead of time.

This permit guarantees parking at the Bob Bear Trailhead lot, but it’s first-come, first-served for specific spaces. Vehicles can’t exceed 22 feet, and everyone listed on the permit must be safely seated inside. So, gear up, get your permits, and let the Bob Bear adventure begin!

Weekly & Daily Permits

Zion National Park Canyoneering Daily Lottery

Save Time On The Research

Do you have an itch to explore and experience new things, but don’t know where to begin? I’m here to lend a helping hand! I’ve put together a collection of my personal Google maps filled with over 100 of the best hikes, picturesque photography spots, hidden camping sites, cool stays, natural hot springs, breathtaking waterfalls, and much more – all across the states. Trust me, with my maps by your side, you’ll save plenty of time and have an unforgettable adventure. Go ahead, download them now and get ready to hit the road!

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