It says on the website 21 days in advance to reserve, but if there are reserveable permits and you mail it in later than that, you'll still get the permits. And I have called the day before the trip and asked for them to leave the permits in the drop box so we can get an early start. There's nothing on the form to check "leave in night drop" so you have to call the day before and request it. (And I just re-clarified this with the ranger station, as I am mailing for permits for 7/24.)
If you're not reserving permits, you'll need to do walk in... and since you're there, no need for the drop box.
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