Travel | January 21, 2019 9:00 am

How to Get Adventure Permits for the Country’s Best Damn Swimming Hole

Plus, dates for thrills in the Grand Canyon and Mount Whitney

We get it. It’s hard enough making dinner plans for next Wednesday. 

So the prospect of locking in a Southwest rafting trip for spring 2020 feels particularly aspirational. 

But if you’re ever going to make some headway on your outdoor bucket list (and you trust this government shutdown idiocy will eventually come to pass), February 1st is the date to know for securing adventure permits in the States. 

adv booking (3 images)

Mountain and canyon junkies legitimately jump on permits like Zach Hample on a foul ball, so we’d recommend having plans fleshed out in time for the beginning of next month, and computers out. 

As for your options? Some big ones: Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon, Mount Whitney, Mount Saint Helens, 10th Mountain, and Enchantments. Here’s what you need to know for each.

Havasu Falls 
Holy swimming hole! It’s not hard to find photographs of Havasu’s ridiculously beautiful waterfall (see above), but it’s not that easy to see ’em with your own eyes. Located in Supai, and on Havasupai land (a tribe that’s lived in the area for 800 years), the site is not eligible for day-trips. You’ll have to pull a camping overnighter. Monitor their page here to book a trip for later this year. 

Grand Canyon
It’s still selling out like a rockstar, and we wrote about some alternative options here. But if your heart is set on heading down the Colorado as part of a non-commercial trip, apply to the weighted lottery here.

Mount Whitney
The contiguous 48’s highest point is somehow just 76 miles from the United States’ lowest point … Death Valley National Park. Anyway, feel free to drop that fact on someone this weekend. If you’re looking for an expedition in the high Sierra Nevadas, apply here from February 1st to March 15th. Results go up in late March (though be warned, this process could prove slower if the shutdown lingers). We recommend poking around a bit and deciding exactly what you’re looking for — day vs. overnight, month of choice, etc. 

Mount Saint Helens
You can hike to the Mount Saint Helens crater (it’s nuts) between April 1st and October 15th, but you should really secure your permits soon. Avoid the warmer months if you can. Between April and mid-May, up to 500 people are allowed up, opposed to 100 between mid-May and October. Head here

Enchantments
The rules are super-specific for overnight-exploring the upper and lower basins of Washington State’s Enchantments. Apply here for the lottery between February 15th and March 2nd, in order to visit between mid-May and October. If you’re just stopping by for a day-trip you’re good to go. 

All images via Wikimedia Commons
h/t The Clymb