2020 PCT Permit Application Dates Announced
Hikers planning a 2020 PCT thru-hike starting at the Mexico border will be able to apply for their permit on Oct. 29, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. PT. Southbound (or other itinerary) permits will be available on Jan. 14, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. PT.
These permits are for anyone who is planning to hike 500 miles or more in one continuous trip. This is an interagency permit, and hikers who are planning shorter section hikes will need to apply for permits from the individual land management associations under the jurisdiction of the agencies they will be passing through.
Fifty permits will be available for each starting day, with two days to try for hikers’ preferred start date. Thirty-five permits will be available for each start date on Oct. 29, with the remaining 15 permits becoming available on Jan. 14, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. PT.
Historically, the process of obtaining a permit has been challenging, with the permit page experiencing technical difficulties due to the volume of thru-hiker hopefuls flooding the site. This year, interested hikers will be put in a proverbial “waiting room,” where they will be able to see their place in line. The PCTA recommends arriving to the permit page a few minutes before 10:30 a.m. PT, but arriving any earlier than that won’t help secure a better place in line.
Hikers are encouraged to allow up to three hours for the process, though the application itself should take under ten minutes. Hikers will have two different time countdowns, with ten minutes to enter the permit application and begin applying. From there, there is a 20-minute allotment to complete the application.
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