My Experience with the 2022 PCT Permit Process

I’ve been counting down the days for months till the November 9th NOBO PCT permit lottery opened. I read all of the information on the PCTA website about how it would work, and I read a few articles on The Trek’s website too. I had a group message with my friends who also want to hike in 2022 and a plan on what to do as we all entered the application.

Yet, I was unprepared for the anticipation I felt on the morning of. It was akin to hoping you get the steeply discounted TV on Black Friday. Would I get the date I wanted, would my friends and I be able to get the same date, hell, was I going to get a permit at all!? Only time would tell, and it seemed by the standard “more than an hour” message posted on the site I would have plenty of it. So, I popped out my knitting and watched the hiking figure move ever so slowly to represent me moving up in line.

As my group of friends and I were talking it became apparent that my one friend and I would be the first ones in. Ultimately I only had to wait about 45 minutes to enter the sacred portal and choose my day, and I was pleased to see that every day was still available. I FaceTimed my friends and we chose April 8th because it still had a bunch of available spaces, thinking that would increase my chances of my potential tramily getting the same day as I did.

Thirty minutes later when my next friend got in all of the April permits had been selected! She made a quick decision to go with mid-May (the earliest May date available to her) and filled it out. The rest of the group filed through shortly after. So out of the five of us, one got early March, two of us got early April, and two got mid-May. We will be keeping an eye on the permit management portal in the hopes that we can change dates and all get early April, but only time will tell.

All in all, we all got permits. We will all have the opportunity to attempt the PCT in 2022, and I couldn’t feel more grateful for that. I am grateful for the permit system and the benefits of it on the ecosystems along the trail. I am even grateful for the exciting process of sitting at my computer and crossing my fingers for a good starting date. It felt much more official than when I arbitrarily picked a day and voluntarily registered my Appalachian Trail thru-hike in 2018.

And now that I have a permit secured I can focus my obsession on honing my gear,  preparing a few resupply boxes to send myself, and reading pre-trail prep literature (thank you Pacific Crest Trials).

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Comments 8

  • Martha Borisova : Nov 11th

    I can’t wait to see how your journey goes ? hope you have a great time!

  • Sasquatch : Nov 12th

    Glad you scored a permit. You are now one in a million. There are approximately 8 billion people on earth, and approximately 8000 thru permits issued each year.

  • Truck : Nov 13th

    Hey Wilt, congrats on getting your 2022 permit! I wish you another FABULOUS trail experience. Hiker hugs to you from Truck (AT ’18)!

  • Rick James : Nov 29th

    My wife and I failed to get a permit. I was wondering if you could let me know when you entered the portal. We logged on at 10:15. We had 4 devices logged in and still didn’t get an early place in the queue.

    • Sasquatch : Nov 30th

      I had two devices logged in around 10:00 am pst. I logged my phone in at 10:31 as well. It was the browser on my phone logged in at 10:31 which got me through the que early enough to get a permit. So, when the PCTA reopens the remaining 15 permits per day in January, you should login no earlier that 10:30 am and beyond.

    • Mackenzie : Dec 1st

      I’m so sorry to hear you weren’t able to get a permit last time around. Fingers crossed for January. I had two computers. One I logged on before 10:30 and got a random spot in line. The other one I clicked into as soon as the time changed to 10:30 and that is the one I got into sooner for the permit. Maybe try that way? Best of luck!

      • Sasquatch : Dec 2nd

        Yeah, it seems like any device logged on prior to 10:30 am PST ends up way at the back of the line.

    • Rick James : Dec 3rd

      Thanks to everyone that replied. I will wait until 10:30 next time.
      Happy trails
      Silver Streak


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