INYO FOREST WILDERNESS PERMITS
Reservations are accepted up to six months in advance of the date of entry for all
trails except the Main Mt. Whitney trail. The Mt. Whitney trail is by lottery during
the month of February. All other reservations (phone, fax and mail) will be accepted
no later than two days before your planned entry into the wilderness and up to six
months in advance. Keep in mind that with mailed applications, your request must
reach the office in time for them to process your application. If you are applying
within a week of your trip date, it may be prudent to apply via fax or phone.
For detailed information, please see the Inyo National Forest Site
This is some of the more important info on hiking / wilderness permits. All of this is done through the forest service.
INYO NATIONAL FOREST WILDERNESS PERMIT RESERVATIONS
Reservation Line** - 760-873-2483
Commercial Reservation Line - 760-873-2492
Wilderness Permit Office FAX - 760-873-2484
Wilderness Information - 760-873-2485
Inyo National Forest
Wilderness Permit Office
351 Pacu Lane Suite 200
Bishop, CA 93514
Wilderness Information from Ranger Stations/Visitor Centers
Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center - 760-647-3044
Mammoth Lakes Visitor Center - 760-924-5500
White Mountain Ranger Station - 760-873-2500
Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center- 760-876-6200
A fee is charged for a confirmed wilderness permit reservation. This fee is necessary to defray some of the costs of the reservation system. If you are requesting more than one permit, you must submit SEPARATE checks. Do not submit duplicate requests. They will be returned.
MT. WHITNEY TRAIL
Due to it's popularity, the amount of hikers
on the trail are limited by a quota for the Mt. Whitney Trail from
May 1 though November 1. The entire daily quota is reservable in
advance and day-of-hike cancellations are difficult to obtain. The
Whitney Portal area is not part of the wilderness and contains developed
campgrounds, a store, a fishing pond, and picnic area. Your permit
does NOT cover overnight stays in this area. A fee is charged for
camping at Whitney Portal.
All Inyo Forest Trailheads
in the Ansel
Adams, John Muir, and Dinkey Lakes Wildernesses now have entry quotas.
Sample Meadow, Deer Creek, Billy Creek, and Potter Pass in the Kaiser
Wilderness as well as Cottonwood Pass in the Golden Trout Wilderness
also have entry quotas. Quotas apply to all overnight visitors,
whether you use the services of a commercial outfitter/guide or
not. Some trails have specific commercial quotas and all visitors
using a commercial outfitter or guide must obtain their permit through
the commercial operator. Some trails have single quotas where all
commercial and non-commercial visitors must compete for the quota
Quotas will be in effect from May 1st to November 1st for the John Muir, Ansel Adams, and Dinkey Lakes Wildernesses. The Cottonwood Pass trail in the Golden Trout Wilderness and the above mentioned trails in the Kaiser Wilderness will remain the last Friday in June through September 15.
The methods of obtaining reservations for quota space differ between east and west side entry points, and is described below. If you are using the services of any commercial outfitter/guide for any activity including backpacking, mountain climbing, and horse packing, the commercial operator must reserve quota space for you. For each non-commercial quota 60% of the quota is available for advanced reservation. The remaining 40% is available for walk-in on a first-come, first-served basis, no fee charged. Commercial quotas are 100% reservable.
MT. WHITNEY FEES
There is a fee of $5 per person to make a reservation. It is due at the time the reservation is booked and is not refundable. Mt. Whitney trail reservation fees remain $15 per person.
|Area of Travel
||Location to obtain permit
Ansel Adams Wilderness - North
Trailheads North of Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River
|Minarets/Mariposa Ranger District
57003 Road 225
North Fork, CA 93643-9734
Ansel Adams Wilderness - South
Trailheads South of Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River John Muir, Kaiser and Dinkey Lakes Wildernesses
|Pineridge/Kings River Ranger District
P. O. Box 559
Prather, CA 93651
(TDD) (559) 855-5367
SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST (westside) ENTRY
Reservations can be made by mailing your application and fee payment (check or money order) to the address below that serves your entry point. You should plan to mail your reservation application at least three weeks prior to your trip to ensure it has time to arrive and be processed. You will receive a confirmation of your reservation in the mail. Included with the confirmation will be the instructions on how to redeem your confirmation card for a Wilderness Visitors Permit. Reservations may also be made in person at the offices listed below. Phone, FAX, or e-mail reservations are not available at this time. For general information please call the appropriate Ranger District office.
During heavy use periods all popular trails have entry quotas in effect. The number of people entering the wilderness is limited each day between the last Friday in June through September 15. These quotas are in effect to protect the wilderness resource and to provide a quality backcountry experience to the visitor.
CANCELIATIONS & PARTY SIZE REDUCTIONS
For cancellations or party size reductions, please notify the Ranger District office as soon as possible. This will help other wilderness visitors obtain an overnight permit.
Your reservation confirmation letter is not a permit. Reserved permits must be picked up in person at the location listed on the reservation confirmation letter. Unless prior arrangements are made, any reserved permits not picked up are cancelled and made available to others on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserved permits may be claimed up to 24 hours in advance, but entry into the wilderness is allowed ONLY on the entry date stated on the permit.
There are maximum group sizes on all trails listed on the reverse side of this paper. Certain organized groups and educational institutions may also require an Outfitter/ Guide Special Use Permit. Please contact the Ranger Station for more information.
REMINDERS AND SUGGESTIONS WHEN APPLYING
Contact the Ranger District managing the trail you wish to use for the latest information regarding permits and reservations.
OBTAINING PERMITS WITHOUT A RESERVATION
Permits may be obtained however demand for permits is high. Please have alternate trips in mind and try to keep party size less than six people. The Mt. Whitney Trail has only cancellations available on the date of entry, competition for those openings is intense.
WILDERNESS TRAVEL TIPS
Help protect the wilderness resource by camping and burying human waste at least 100 ft. away from water and meadows. LEAVE NO TRACE. Pack out what you pack in, plus some more!
Trails are usually snow-free from early July through mid-October. BE PREPARED FOR RAIN, HAIL OR SNOW ON ALL HIKES, EVEN DAY HIKES. Afternoon thunderstorms are common in the summer and often have lightning. Hiking Supplies
, rain gear, good boots, warm clothes and a first aid kit are essential.
All water in the Sierra Nevada should be treated for Giardiasis, a water-born cyst that causes severe intestinal disorders. Boil or filter all water.
Campfires are prohibited in many areas in the Eastern Sierra due to scarcity of fuel wood or other factors. Generally, campfires are discouraged in the wilderness. Where campfires are permitted, use only DEAD AND DOWNED wood, keep fires small and make sure fires are out with water, not dirt.