,

PrettylilTraveler

U.S. Wilderness Permits – February Permits

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

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 February, 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. 

Seasonal Permits To Apply For In February

Mt. Whitney Backpacking Permits

Starting February 1, 2024 - Permits Available for the 2024 Season

Dates
Information
February 1, 2024 - March 1, 2024
Apply for 2024 season Mt Whitney Lottery
March 15, 2024
Lottery results published
April 21, 2024
Deadline to confirm awarded lottery reservation and pay $15 per person reservation fees
April 22, 2024
Dates from unclaimed lottery released for web reservation at 7am PST
May 1, 2024 - November 1, 2024
Quota season when number of people per day is limited
November 2, 2023 - April 30, 2024
Permit required - no limit on number of permits issued (non quota season)

If you’re up for a hiking adventure, tackling Mt. Whitney is an unforgettable experience. Nestled in the scenic Sierra Nevada Mountains on California’s east side, the journey begins at Whitney Portal in Inyo National Forest, perched at 8,300 feet. The trail promises a breathtaking ascent of over 6,200 feet, leading you to the summit in Sequoia National Park, marking the southern end of the iconic John Muir Trail—a 200-mile trail named after the influential naturalist John Muir.

For day hikers, the classic 22-mile Mt. Whitney Trail is a popular choice, offering a challenging 12 to 14-hour round-trip. Starting before sunrise is recommended, and it’s essential to be prepared for some dark hiking. Optimal snow-free conditions usually prevail from July to late September. Winter mountaineering skills are crucial if attempting the trail when snow-covered.

If you’re planning a backpacking trip, consider camping at various levels, such as Lone Pine Lake, Outpost Camp, Consultation Lake, or Trail Camp. The Mt. Whitney Trail overnight permit can also be extended to connect with the John Muir Trail, allowing you to traverse the stunning, roadless Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Choose your dates wisely, be prepared for the challenges, and embark on an epic adventure up Mt. Whitney!

Whitney Portal Campground Permits

On February 01, 2024 at 07:00 am PST, availability will be released through August 01, 2024.

Whether you’re gearing up for your hike or just want to soak in some Sierra Nevada vibes, Whitney Portal Campground has your back.

Nestled right at the base of Mt. Whitney, this campground is a sweet spot for hikers, families, and anyone craving an adventure. Hiking trails to Mt. Whitney and the John Muir Wilderness are practically at your doorstep – less than a mile away! 

Situated by Whitney Creek and just a stone’s throw from Trailhead Campground, Whitney Portal boasts a range of campsites. Choose from spots on either side of the creek, with options like group camping areas and tent-only sites. The campground’s got your essentials covered – paved roads, vault toilets, and drinking water are all part of the package.

Anan Wildlife Observatory Permits

Starting February 1, 2024 - Permits Required from February 2024 - August 2024

Application Start Date
Event Date
February 1, 2024 - August 25, 2024
Advanced reservations for peak season become available at 8 AM Alaska Time on Feb 1st
July 5, 2024 - August 25, 2024
Peak Season: Day use permit required

Anan is an incredible spot to witness some serious wildlife action. It’s one of the few places in the world where black and brown bears come together to feed in the same creek. Anan Creek has a massive run of pink salmon each year, bringing in around 200,000-300,000 salmon and a whole lot of bears.

The seasonal salmon run is a major draw for a range of wildlife. You’re likely to spot harbor seals, bald eagles, and mink hanging out at Anan. Plus, sometimes Steller sea lions, orcas, wolves, humpback whales, and even wolverines pass through or stop by.

Anan is a total wilderness adventure. The main priorities of the management team there are keeping the bears safe, keeping visitors safe, and making sure everyone has an amazing experience.

Havasupai Reservations

Campground reservations are available from February 1 - November 30, 2024. Lodge reservations are available from April 1 - November 30, 2024.

To make camping reservations in Havasupai, you must reserve online at havasupaireservations.com beginning on February 1. You must create an account online before Feburary 1. Be warned, Havasupai camping permits often sell out for the entire season within minutes. The most desirable dates (such as hiking to Havasupai on Memorial Day weekend) will be reserved on February first.

The 2024 rates are:

  • $455 per person for a campground permit, 3 nights.

  • $2,277 per lodge room – up to four people, 3 nights.

Pack mule reservation fees are currently $200 per mule (each way) / $400 per mule round trip.

In 2024, the Havasupai Tribe has introduced a presale reservation system for the first time. The new presale registration period opens at 8 am Arizona time on January 5, 2024 and runs through 5 pm Arizona time on January 18, 2024. During this period, tourists will have an opportunity to purchase a limited number of reservations before the public on-sale opening day of February 1, 2024.

During the presale, tourists can register to purchase a 2024 reservation for the campground and/or lodge on 3 desired start dates, as well as a designated month if the desired reservation start dates are not available. The presale selection requires a non-refundable fee of $15 per permit, and reservations are not guaranteed.

Grand Canyon National Park Backcountry Permits

Starting February 1, 2024 - Lottery for early access becomes available for June 2024

Application Deadline
Lottery Results Available
Early Access Period
Permit Timeframe
Thu, Feb 1, 2024 | 5:00 PM MST
Fri, Feb 2, 2024 (Estimated)
Mon, Feb 5, 2024 - Mon, Feb 19, 2024
This lottery provides an opportunity to access permit inventory early and book a reservation for the following dates: Sat, Jun 1, 2024 - Sun, Jun 30, 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).

Canyonland's Backcountry Permits

Starting February 10, 2024 - Permits Required from February 2024 - September 2024

Application Start Date
Event Date
February 10, 2024
All locations for June 10 – September 9, 2024 available for reservation starting at 8:00AM MT. Reservations close two days prior to a trip start date.

Canyonlands National Park is an awesome place to explore with tons of canyons and unique buttes created by the Colorado River and its tributaries. The park has four districts: Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and the rivers. Each district has its own vibe for getting wild and finding peace. But, don’t expect a road map to directly connect them. Getting around will take two to eight hours by car and you’ll need a boat to cross the river.

Island in the Sky is perched high up on a sandstone mesa, offering cool off-roading and mountain biking on the White Rim Road. There’s also great backpacking below the mesa with talus slopes and huge basins.

The Needles gives you a chance to experience the backcountry wilderness, but you’ll need some serious driving and backpacking skills. Don’t even think about trying it if you’re inexperienced. Plus, there are loads of hiking routes, so you’ll have lots of opportunities to find a spot to rest.

The Maze is the most remote and hardest area to reach. Be ready to be on your own while you’re there with the tools and the gear to handle an emergency situation. The roads and trails are tough and inexperienced drivers shouldn’t go near it. Backpackers will find the routes really primitive with tough-to-figure-out canyons, so make sure you’ve got a good map and navigation skills!

Mount Rainier National Park Wilderness and Climbing Permits

Starting February 12, 2024 - Lottery for access becomes available for May - October 2024

Dates
Information
February 12, 2024
Early-access lottery applications accepted starting at 7:00 am PT.
March 4, 2024
Early-access lottery closes at 9:00 pm PT.
March 14, 2024
Lottery participants notified of award status starting at 7:00 am PT
March 21, 2024
Early-access reservations open for trips starting between late May and early October. Successful lottery applicants will be provided a date and time that their individual access window opens.
April 25, 2024
Reservations go on-sale at 7:00 am PT for trips starting between late May and early October (General On-Sale)
October 5, 2024
Last day of the season that reservations can be made.
October 8, 2024
Self-registration available at some locations. Most permits available first-come, first-served.

Rising majestically to 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier is a Washington icon, an active volcano, and the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., nurturing five major rivers. The mountain is adorned with subalpine wildflower meadows, surrounded by ancient forests, and teeming with diverse wildlife.

Despite its proximity to major population centers, Mount Rainier Wilderness presents remarkable opportunities for solitude in a landscape largely untouched by modern human influence. A year-round permit is essential for any overnight stay in the backcountry, granting access to designated camps or areas.

For trips between May 26 and October 9 (May 5 for climbing camps and zones), 2/3 of wilderness permits can be reserved in advance, with bookings open from April 25. Reservations require at least a 2-day lead time before the trip starts. The remaining 1/3 of permits are available on-site, following a first-come, first-served approach. Wilderness and Climbing permits outside the reservation season operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. Don’t miss out on the Early Access Lottery; details are provided below.

Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Overnight Permits

Starting February 15, 2024 - Permits Available for April 2024 - July 2024

Application Start Date
Event Date
February 15, 2024
Overnight permits for April 1-July 31 2024 are available for advanced reservation at 8am Mountain Time

Have you heard of Conundrum Hot Springs? It’s a cool spot located 11,200 feet above sea level in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. This area is super protected and meant to be enjoyed in its natural state. If you’re up for a little adventure, the trailhead is about 8.5 miles away and you’ll gain 2,400 feet of elevation, so be prepared for that high altitude!

You’ll cross Conundrum Creek three times before reaching the hot springs. There are primitive log bridges to cross the first and second streams, but the third crossing requires wading through the creek. It can be pretty tricky, so keep that in mind when planning.

The best time to check out the hot springs is from July to September when it’s not too cold up in the mountains. If you’re not super keen on snow camping, it’s best to avoid going from October to June as the trailhead is inaccessible and there are even avalanche hazards.

The Enchantments Backpacking Permits

Starting February 15, 2024 - Permits Available for April 2024 - July 2024

Dates
Information
February 15, 2024
Lottery opens at 7:00 a.m. PT
February 29, 2024
Lottery closes at 11:59 p.m. PT
March 7, 2024
Applications randomly drawn at 1:55 a.m. PT
March 14, 2024 - March 31, 2024
Confirmation period
April 1, 2024
Unclaimed permits will be returned to the reservation system at 7:00 a.m. PT
May 15, 2024 - October 31, 2024
Permits are required for overnight camping

The stunning Enchantments are located within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. In order to preserve the wilderness character and protect the fragile resources for future generation, permitting systems are in place.

The Enchantment Permit Area is characterized by rugged glaciated peaks and a series of lakes at varying elevations. The lower elevation trails and lakes are forested while the upper lakes offer a stunning alpine environment. While the area is high use, the trails are primitive, and there are some steep, rocky sections. 

The Cascade Mountains’ weather can be unpredictable, so it’s good to prepare for all weather types throughout the season. May, June, September, and October are shoulder seasons, so expect to encounter snow and winter-like conditions. Check the weather before your visit.

Due to the Enchantment Permit Area’s immense popularity, visitors must obtain a permit if visiting from May 15 through October 31. However, permits are not required during the rest of the year. Visitors can self-register at the trailhead registration box during this time. Day users need only fill out a free day-use permit, available at any of the three trailheads accessing the area. Day use is very popular, so we recommend visiting early to secure a spot. A Northwest Forest Pass is required, and visitors must park in the designated day-use parking areas at the Stuart Lake Trailhead.

Last Minute Horsetail Fall "Fire Fall" Ticketed Entry

If you missed the presale, you can still apply for Horsetail Falls in Yosemite weekend permits 2-days before your visit.

Did you know that Horsetail Fall turns into a mesmerizing orange cascade, resembling a fiery spectacle when the sunset backlights it just right?  This incredible phenomenon occurs in mid- to late February, provided the sky is clear, the waterfall is in full flow, and the sun hits that perfect angle.

Now, for the important part: if you’re planning to witness this natural magic in Yosemite National Park on February 10–11, 17–19, or 25–26, 2024, you’ll need a reservation – even if Horsetail Fall isn’t your main destination. 🗓️ Due to the popularity of this event, weekends can get pretty hectic with traffic, parking, and safety concerns. To keep things smooth, reservations are a must.

But here’s the good news – if you roll in from Monday to Friday (excluding the 19th), no reservation needed! 🚗 Plus, your $35/car entrance fee is your golden ticket for seven days, giving you the flexibility to explore whenever suits you.

So, mark your calendars and get ready to witness nature’s own light show at Horsetail Fall!

Zion National Park - Hike Angels Landing

Spring 2024

Dates
Information
February 28, 2024 - May 30, 2024
Day-before lotteries (apply one day in advance of desired hiking dates)

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

Zion Mystery Canyon Seasonal Lottery (Technical Climbing)

Starting February 1, 2024 - Lottery for access becomes available for April - June 2024

All trips into Mystery Canyon require a permit. Mystery Canyon is a technical canyoneering route, requiring your own ropes, harnesses, and often wetsuits or drysuits. Guiding is not allowed in the Zion Wilderness. Anyone applying for this lottery must have their own skills and equipment to safely complete their desired trip. 

Dates
Information
February 1, 2024 - February 25, 2024
Lottery for April 1 - June 30 Mystery Canyon hikes open.

Zion Left Fork North Creek (Subway) Seasonal Lottery

Starting February 1, 2024 - Lottery for access becomes available for April - June 2024

Dates
Information
February 1, 2024 - February 25, 2024
Lottery for April 1 - June 30 Subway hikes open.

Planning a trip to the Left Fork of North Creek, aka the Subway? Here’s the scoop: you’ll need a permit for any adventure into this stunning canyon. Now, there are two ways to tackle the Subway – top-down or bottom-up.

The top-down route is for the thrill-seekers; it’s a technical canyoneering experience that demands ropes, harnesses, and often, wetsuits or drysuits. On the flip side, the bottom-up approach is a rugged off-trail hike that takes most groups 6-10 hours. Be prepared for some river wading, boulder hopping, and navigating around downed trees.

Monthly Permits

Coyote Buttes North - THE WAVE

On February 1, 2024, Lottery opened to applications for permits during June 2024.

Application Start Date
Event Date
February 1, 2024 - February 28, 2024
Lottery open to applications for permits during June
March 1, 2024
Results for permits during June

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 February for your chance at June 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 May 2024 Permits

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

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!

THIS IS NOT THE WAVE

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 May 2024 Permits

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

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.

 

Weekly & Daily Permits

Angels Landing: Winter Hikes Daily Lottery

Zion 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!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Oahu_Stairway-to-Heaven_Aloha_IMG0206

Hey there!

I am so excited to connect with you. 

Fill out the form below and we will get back to you soon!