Step 3: Apply for a John Muir Trail permit. The permit process for the John Muir Trail out of Yosemite is competitive and confusing. Permits become available exactly 168 days before your start date, and if you miss the deadline by even by a few minutes, you will be out of luck.
Wilderness permit reservations are processed by lottery 24 weeks (168 days) in advance of the hiking start date. You can fax your reservation application 169 days in advance for consideration the next day.