Dealing with Permit Rejections

If you’re like me, you’ve gotten plenty of emails that look like this recently:

The disappointing email

A Disappointing Email


This is the email Yosemite sends when you don’t get a permit for the John Muir trail.  I’ve got 19 of them sitting in my inbox, and will probably get another one this afternoon.  I have 16 chances left to get a permit for the John Muir Trail, and Sunday’s submission marks the start of our “ideal” window, where we’ll get a bonus vacation day off because of Labor Day.  We can’t do the trail late in September because of a work event, so I have a true hard stop deadline for the JMT.  I’ve seen lots of others get their permits for the JMT, when I’ve come up empty handed.  And that’s okay.

When I look at the Yahoo group or Facebook groups for the JMT, I see the panic that some people have about getting their permits.  Yes, I want to hike the JMT because it’s a classic trail in one of the most beautiful parts of the country.  I like that every day on the trail is different and that hikers don’t cross a road for hundreds of miles.  But there are other places that can be done too, with equally beautiful views.  I will be disappointed if, come March 14th, I get my 36th permit rejection, but then it’s time to submit for Wonderland Trail permits!  And if that doesn’t work, that’s okay too.

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