9 Exclusive U.S. Hikes You Need Luck and Permit to Experience

The Wave, Coyote Buttes North, Arizona/Utah:

Straddling the Arizona-Utah border, The Wave offers a surreal landscape of rippling sandstone in vibrant hues. With only 64 permits granted per day via a competitive lottery system, visitors must plan months in advance.

Havasupai and Havasu Falls, Arizona:

Nestled within the Havasupai Indian Reservation, Havasu Falls mesmerizes with its turquoise waters cascading over vibrant red rocks. Accessible only with advanced reservations and permits.

Half Dome, Yosemite, California:

A pinnacle of Yosemite National Park, Half Dome entices adventurers with its sheer granite face. Limited to 300 daily hikers via a lottery system, permits are essential for scaling the iconic cables to reach the summit.

Mount Whitney Trail, California:

Offering breathtaking alpine vistas, the Mount Whitney Trail demands respect for its elevation and rugged terrain. Permits, sought after months in advance, ensure hikers can tackle the challenge of ascending the tallest peak.

Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim, Arizona:

Crossing the vast expanse of the Grand Canyon is a feat of endurance and awe. Permits for overnight stays are essential for those tackling the rim-to-rim journey, while day passes help manage the crowds along the trails.

Angels Landing, Zion National Park, Utah:

With dizzying heights and narrow pathways, Angels Landing is not for the faint of heart. Accessible via a permit raffle system, visitors must navigate the spine-chilling route to reach the breathtaking summit views.

John Muir Trail, California:

Stretching over 200 miles through some of California's most iconic landscapes, the John Muir Trail offers an immersive wilderness experience. Permits for overnight camping and day hiking ensure the trail's sustainability and safety.

The Enchantments, Washington:

Tucked away in the Cascade Range, The Enchantments beckon with alpine lakes and jagged peaks. Limited access through a permit system safeguards the delicate ecosystem and ensures a pristine wilderness experience.

Denali Road, Alaska:

Traversing the rugged terrain of Denali National Park, the Denali Road offers glimpses of North America's tallest peak. Lottery permits grant access to this remote wilderness, where encounters with wildlife are as awe-inspiring as the landscapes.