Pacific Crest Trail Permits for 2020: What You Need to Know

Pacific Coast Trail

Restrictions and southbound quotas will be coming to the Pacific Crest Trail in 2020

Pacific Crest trail hikers planning on a hiking north from the Mexican border will be able to sign up for permits starting in 2020.

Hiking more that 500 miles on the trail? The Pacific Crest Trail permit will replace all the wilderness permits a hiker would need to have to sign up for separately, so this is a must! But as the new year comes along there will be a few changes coming to that process. Heres what you need to know if you’re planning on going for a hike:

The Southern Sierra Hike Will Need to be Done in One Continuous Trip!

Sadly, Winter is coming! Which means a lot of snow and the temptation to come back to the Sierra at a later date sounds wonderful but it won’t be allowed in 2020.

Starting in 2020 all hikers will have to finish the path from Kennedy Meadows South to Sonora Pass in one trip. You will not be allowed to skip any sections or decide to change direction because you will loose your permit. You may leave the trail for a short period of time if you need to resupply. But if you are gone longer than that your permit will not be valid. ” PCT long-distance permits are for a specific itinerary and permit holders are expected to pass through the Southern Sierra during the specific timeframe of their permit,” the Pacific Crest Trail Association wrote in a blog post earlier this month.

Permits for Southbound Will Be Have a Set Limit of 15 Per Day

Trail managers state that there have been crowds forming at the northern border because heading south has become more popular.

“On July 1, 2019, over 160 people were permitted for trips at the Northern Terminus, while June 29 had only 13 people,” the PCTA wrote. “Having 160 people traveling through fragile alpine areas at the same time means our collective impact on the landscape is greater.” In 2019, the organization will issue only 15 permits per day for southbound departures.

Sadly the Permit Season is Changing, Maybe for the Better?

The PCTA will continue to issue permits for the northbound hikers leaving between March 1 and May 31 next year.

For more information, or to enter the permit lottery, visit the Pacific Crest Trail Association’s permits page.

Want to check out Oregon Trails? Click Here

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