Dollar Lake, Kings Canyon National Park, CA

The John Muir Trail Resources

Dollar Lake

The John Muir Tail - Backpacking Trip Resources

Books and Maps

Elizabeth Wenk's John Muir Trail: The Essential Guide to Hiking America's Most Famous Trail is considered among the best. Tom Harrison's John Muir Trail Map-Pack covers the JMT all the way to Mt. Whitney and Whitney Portal.



Leave your car at Whitney Portal and allow 2 days to use public transportation from Lone Pine to Mammoth Lakes to Yosemite Valley. Many people find it easy to hitchhike from Whitney Portal to Lone Pine.
Eastern Sierra Transit - from Lone Pine to Mammoth Lakes
YARTS - (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) from Mammoth Lakes to Yosemite Valley.

Wilderness Permits - 2018

A wilderness permit is required for each party staying overnight in the wilderness. Reservations for hikes beginning in Yosemite can be made up to 24 weeks in advance. Because of the high demand for permits to use the John Muir Trail, backpackers should fax in their reservation request to (209) 372-0739 on the 169th day before your trip or before 7:30 AM on the 168th day before your trip. Faxes are processed before phone calls. Permits are selected by lottery. See New in 2017 below.

Due to the high demand for John Muir Trail permits, Yosemite has introduced a Donohue Pass Exit Quota of 45 hikers per day, and only for hikers starting from Happy Isles, Lyell Canyon, Glacier Point, or Sunrise Lakes. Only 20 JMT hikers headed through Little Yosemite Valley will receive permits each day. All must be reserved, unless there is a rare cancellation permit available first-come, first-served. See Wilderness Permits for JMT Hikers.

Reservations require a $5 processing fee and a $5 fee per person.   Yosemite National Park Wilderness Permits

Permits may be picked up the day before your hike or the day of your hike by 10:00 AM at a Wilderness Center in Yosemite Valley (near the post office), Tuolumne Meadows (1 mile east of the visitor center on the main road), or at the Big Oak Flat Entrance Station. Office hours change, so check Yosemite Current Conditions for the hours. The permit covers your entire trip to Mt. Whitney and Whitney Portal.

Wilderness Regulations

Campfires are prohibited above 9,600' in Yosemite and 10,000' in Kings Canyon and Sequoia. Also, some areas such as Thousand Island or Garnet lakes do not permit fires.
Bear canisters are required in Yosemite, many wilderness areas, and most of Kings Canyon and Sequoia.
No pets are allowed in national park wildernesses.

New in 2017 in Yosemite

". . . you can now submit one application for a range of dates up to 3 weeks long. Your reservation application will be placed in each day’s daily lottery for the date range you provide. You will be notified of lottery results each day via email. If denied, your application will roll to the next day’s lottery. The application will be removed from the rolling lottery if 1) your request is granted 2) is manually canceled by applicant or 3) the date range has expired. Once expired, you may reapply with a new application and date range"

See all the details at New JMT Application Process and Form

Do not submit more than one application per request or group each day. Such applications will be disqualified.

Permits for Other Trailheads

Hikers can access the John Muir Trail from the south end or from a number of lateral trails along its course. These permits are easier to obtain than permits from Yosemite.

Yosemite Wilderness Permits - General Information

A wilderness permit is required for each party camping overnight in the Yosemite wilderness. The maximum number of people per party is 15 (8 if hiking cross country), but some trailhead quotas are less than that. There is a daily quota of overnight hikers permitted to enter at each trailhead. No permit is required for day hikers. Sixty percent of the daily quota of hiker slots may be reserved ahead of time, the other 40 percent are kept as first-come, first-served beginning at 11:00 AM the day before your hike. However, no first-come/first-served permits for JMT hikers using trailheads leading through Little Yosemite Valley are usually available.

Reserved permits may be picked up at a wilderness office during business hours the day before your trip. Permits must be picked up by 10:00 AM on the day of your trip. If you will be arriving later than 10:00 AM, call (209) 372-0308.

More about Yosemite Wilderness Permit Reservations

Wilderness permits are available from 3 days up to 168 days in advance of departure date when the permit office is open (mid-November through October). Faxed permit requests may be sent in 169 days before your departure date. Faxed permit requests are placed in a lottery at 7:30 AM Pacific time on the day faxes are processed (168 days before departure). An email with your lottery results should be sent out within 24 hours of the processing date. Find the first day you may fax in your request by using Yosemite's chart: Wilderness Permits Reservation Windows.