wilderness INformation

Explore links to hiking areas, wilderness permit information, permit station locations, general wilderness conditions update, NPS short videos of moderate and strenuous hikes in Yosemite Valley, and a hiking index of trails: distance, elevation gain, crowd factor, scenery factor, and difficulty.

hiking in yosemite

Saddlebag Lakes-  Directions: Take Highway 120, Tioga Pass Road, about 12 miles from the junction of Highway 395 to Saddlebag Lake Road. Follow the road for approximately three miles to the lake.

Saddlebag Lakes- Directions: Take Highway 120, Tioga Pass Road, about 12 miles from the junction of Highway 395 to Saddlebag Lake Road. Follow the road for approximately three miles to the lake.

A Few Things to Remember While Hiking:

  • Stay on trails: taking shortcuts causes trail erosion--and is both dangerous and illegal.

  • Carry (and drink) plenty of water: a leading cause of injuries on the trail is dehydration. Be sure to treat river, stream, lake, or spring water.

  • Pets and bicycles are only permitted on bike paths.

  • Horses and mules have the right of way on trails.

  • Pack out what you pack in.

  • Trails are not maintained nor are they regularly patrolled: travel carefully and at your own risk.

  • Smoking while traveling on trails is prohibited, though you may smoke while stopped except when fire restrictions are in effect. (Crush out and dispose of cigarette butts in a trash receptacle.)

 
Yosemite Wilderness Center is located in Yosemite Village.

Yosemite Wilderness Center is located in Yosemite Village.

wilderness permits are required for overnight stays in Yosemite Wilderness.

When can I submit a wilderness reservation application?

The reservation office usually opens in mid- to late November (accepting reservations for May through September). If you'll be backpacking from October through April, wilderness permit reservations are not necessary or available.

How early can I get a walk-up permit?

First-come, first-served permits become available at 11 am the day before your wilderness entry date.

Is there a line for walk-up permits?

We begin issuing first-come, first-served permits for the next day beginning at 11 am. However, it's not uncommon for a line to form much earlier during summer. Camping overnight or sleeping in front of wilderness centers is not allowed.

Can I self-register for a permit if I arrive after hours?

During summer, no. We only issue permits during open hours, so we can give the latest conditions updates. Self-registration permits are available in winter (November to April) at the Big Oak Flat Information Station, Wawona Visitor Center, and Badger Pass Ranger Station. Rangers issue permits at the Valley Visitor Center from 9 am to 5 pm during winter.

 
wilderness-permit-half-dome.png

wilderness permit stations and conditions

Free wilderness permits are required year-round for any overnight stay in the Yosemite Wilderness (this does not include frontcountry campgrounds and lodging facilities). Permits are not required for day hikes (except if hiking to Half Dome).


Check the hiking index
to find trail:

Distance miles (km)
Elevation Gain feet (meters)
Crowd Factor
Scenery Factor
Difficulty


Park ranger Vickie Mates provides an overview of moderate day hikes in Yosemite Valley.

For an audio described version of this video, go to https://youtu.be/SitfvicT62Q

 

Park Ranger Vickie Mates describes strenuous hikes in Yosemite Valley, including the Yosemite Falls Trail, the Mist Trail to the top of Nevada Fall, and the Panorama Trail.

For an audio described version of this video, go to https://youtu.be/b15ZUfdAWls