Permit General Rules

BWCAW Rules and Regulations
Middle Fork of the Salmon General Rules
Salmon River General Rules
Selway River General Rules
Snake River General Rules
Enchantment Permit Area General Rules
Cables on Half Dome General Rules
Desolation Wilderness General Rules
Inyo National Forest General Rules
Mt. Whitney General Rules

 

BWCAW Rules and Regulations


The following are enforceable Forest Service regulations (maximum penalty of $5,000 and/or 6 months in jail).

Travel Permits

  • You must enter the BWCAW at the entry point and on the entry date shown on your permit.
  • You may not re-enter on a different date using the same permit.
  • Permit stubs become invalid when the group leader exits the wilderness.

Group Size

  • Nine (9) people and four (4) watercraft are the maximum allowed together in the wilderness.
  • You may not exceed the limit at any time or anywhere (on water, portages, campsites) in the BWCAW.
  • Smaller groups increase your wilderness experience and decrease the impacts.

Toilet Facilities & Water Quality

  • Use latrines at designated campsites.
  • Latrines are not garbage cans and should be used for the intended purpose only. Personal waste items such as cigarette butts, cotton swabs, or plastic feminine products should always be packed out and should never go into the latrines.
  • If you're not near a latrine, dig a small hole 6 to 8 inches deep at least 150-200 feet or more back from the water's edge. When finished, fill hole and cover with needles and leaves.
  • Bathe and wash dishes at least 150-200 feet from lakes and streams.
  • All soaps pollute water including soaps labeled "biodegradable."

Containers

  • Cans and glass bottles are not allowed.
  • Containers of fuel, insect repellent, medicines, personal toilet articles, and other items that are not foods or beverages are the only cans and bottles you may keep in their original containers.
  • Food may be packaged in plastic containers that must be packed out with you.

Food and Fish Remains

  • Try to plan your meals so you don't have leftovers. If you do, pack them out.
  • Dispose of fish remains by traveling well away from campsites, trails, portages and shorelines.

Campfires

  • Fires are allowed within the steel fire grates at designated campsites or as specifically approved on your visitor's permit.
  • Bringing a small camp stove may be a better idea because it heats food more quickly, has less impact than a fire, and comes in handy during rainy weather.
  • Due to the potential fire danger, fire restrictions may be put into effect. Check on current conditions just prior to your trip. You may be required to use a camp stove if there is a campfire restriction.
  • If you build a fire, burn only small diameter dead wood found lying on the ground. Do not burn trash.
  • Collect firewood away from campsites by paddling down the shore and walking into the woods where it is more abundant.
  • Wood easily broken by hand or cut with a small folding saw eliminates the need for an axe.
  • Drown your fire with water any time you are going to be away from your camp or at bedtime. Stir the ashes until they are cold to the touch with a bare hand.
  • Transporting wood from out of state is prohibited.

Campsites

  • All members of a permit group must camp together.
  • Camp only at Forest Service designated campsites that have steel fire grates and wilderness latrines.
  • Make camp early in the day to ensure finding an available campsite.
  • It is illegal to cut live vegetation for any reason.
  • You may camp up to fourteen (14) consecutive days on a specific site.

Storing Watercraft

  • Only watercraft and equipment used in connection with your current visit may be stored and left unattended.
  • All equipment and personal property must be carried out with you at the end of each trip.

Cultural Heritage

  • Leave archaeological, historical, and rock painting sites undisturbed.
  • The use of metal detectors is prohibited.

Firearms & Fireworks

  • Discharging a firearm is prohibited within 150 yards of a campsite, or occupied area, or in any manner or location that places people or property at risk of injury.
  • State game laws apply in the BWCAW.
  • Fireworks of any kind are illegal.

Pets

  • Dogs impact wildlife and barking intrudes on the experience of others. They must be under control at all times.
  • Dispose of fecal matter 150 feet from water sources, campsites, and portages, or deposit it in a latrine.

Motor-Powered Watercraft Regulations

  • Motor-powered watercraft are permitted only on the following designated lakes. All other lakes or portions of lakes within the BWCAW are paddle only. Motors may not be used or be in possession on any paddle-only lake. No other motorized or mechanized equipment (including pontoon boats, sailboats, sailboards) is allowed.

Lakes With 10 Horsepower Limit

On these lakes, the possession of one additional motor no greater than 6 horsepower is permitted, as long as motors in use do not exceed 10 horsepower. - Clearwater, North Fowl, South Fowl, Seagull (no motors generally west of Three Mile Island), sections of Island River within the BWCAW.

Lakes With 25 Horsepower Limit

  • On these lakes or portions of these lakes, the possession of one additional motor no greater than 10 horsepower is permitted, as long as motors in use do not exceed 25 horsepower: 
    - Basswood (except that portion north of Jackfish Bay and Washington Island), Saganaga (except that portion west of American Point), Fall, Newton, Moose, Newfound, Sucker, Snowbank, East Bearskin, South Farm, Trout.

 

Lakes With No Horsepower Limits

- Little Vermilion, Loon, Lac La Croix (not beyond the south end of Snow Bay in the U.S.A.), Loon River.

 

Portage Wheels

Mechanical assistance is only permitted over the following: International Boundary, Four-Mile Portage, Fall-Newton-Pipestone and Back Bay Portages into Basswood Lake, Prairie Portage, Vermilion-Trout Lake Portage.

Non-Profit Organizations

A group must have an official tax-exempt status to qualify as a non-profit organization. If your permit reservation is audited, your group must be able to produce a tax-exempt number. All the people on the trip, with the exception of a guide, must be associated with the non-profit organization. Non-profit organizations may reserve as many permits as they like. However, there is a limit of no more than three (3) permits within a permit season to be reserved under the name of any one non-profit organization name as the Organization name associated with the Permit. Additional permits can only be reserved under a specific person's name as group leader with no association to the Non-profit organization.

The only benefit to reserving a permit having an association to a non-profit organization's name is that the permit may then be issued to anyone who can prove affiliation with the organization in the same location. For example, if a permit is reserved with an association to Non-profit organization "Girl Scouts, Troop 16, Chicago" then anyone affiliated with that particular organization may have the permit issued to her/him. When reserving a permit associated with a non-profit organization, the non-profit organization's name, address and a contact person for the organization is required. The Customer profile must be under the contact person's name and the organization under profile must be set to the Non-profit Organization. The representative of the non-profit organization that actually picks up the permit becomes the group leader, must remain with the group for the duration of the trip, and will be responsible to see that the group follows BWCAW regulations. Please contact the Forest Service office nearest your planned entry point for additional information about reserving permits planning for non-profit organizations.

BWCAW User Fees

User fees are required for all overnight visitors to the BWCAW between May 1 and September 30.

User Fees Per Person Per Trip

Adult $16.00
Child/Youth 0-17 $8.00
Interagency Senior/Access Pass Holders $8.00
Interagency Youth Access Pass Holders $4.00

BWCAW Seasonal Fee Card

The purchase of a BWCAW Seasonal Fee Card fulfills the user fee requirements for the season, but does not eliminate the need for obtaining a BWCAW permit. For reserved permits, it does not eliminate the need to pay the $6.00 reservation fee and user fee deposit. Seasonal Fee Cards may be purchased in person after May 1 from any Forest Service office.

 

Seasonal Fee Card Costs Per Person

Adult $64.00
Child/Youth 0-17 $32.00
Interagency Senior/Access Pass Holders $32.00
Interagency Youth Access Pass Holders $16.00



Middle Fork of the Salmon River Rules and Regulations

Permit Holder must be 18 years old by the launch date.

Fee Payment. Permit holder is responsible for submitting complete and final payment of the entire group's Recreation Fees ($4.00 per person per day) prior to launching. Eligible discounts apply only to the pass holder (Senior and/or Access Pass holders - 50% discount).

Passenger List. A complete and accurate list of trip participants needs to be entered into the Group Member section of the online reservation.

Conditions of the Permit. The permit holder will sign a permit affirming that they have read and understand the definition of a private float trip. A river trip is not commercial if: (1) There is a bona fide sharing of actual expenses, including transportation to and from the site; (2) The trip does not include any costs for payment of salaries or expenses of any person to help with the trip or logistics of the trip; (3) Costs shared by trip members may include the costs of damaged or lost equipment, renting or buying minor equipment but not the acquisition of new equipment to the advantage of an individual or an organization. Persons involved in unauthorized commercial operations are subject to fine and/or imprisonment.
The permit holder is then authorized to enter onto the Middle Fork of the Salmon Wild & Scenic River subject to the following conditions:

  • Permit holder signs the permit and becomes responsible for the group and must be present and accompany the group at all times while on the river.
  • Observe all local, State and Federal laws and regulations. This includes a State of Idaho Invasive Species Sticker.
  • Camp in the assigned camps listed on the permit.
  • Carry and display permit upon request of any Forest Officer.
  • Carry and use the following Required Equipment:
    • A porta-potty with sufficient carrying capacity for the number of persons in your group. If you have a pet, you must transport out all pet feces.
    • A firepan and ash container to carry out all campfire ashes and charcoal. Build fires only in safe locations within a fire pan. Tend them with extreme care and completely extinguish prior to retiring for the night or leaving the area. Do not build fire rings. Do not burn garbage that has toxic materials (plastics, metals, etc.).
    • A mesh strainer fine enough to filter coffee grounds. This should be used to strain food particles and other materials from your dish- and gray-water.
    • A bucket and a shovel for fire fighting and camp sanitation.
  • Pick up all garbage including foil, plastic bottles, cans, cigarette butts, and pop tops, and carry them out of the river area to a provided dump site and recycling station.
  • Do NOT use soap, not even biodegradable soap, in any stream, river, lake or hot springs.
  • During the Lottery Control Season, (May 28-September 3) group size determines trip length :
Group Type Group Size Maximum Trip Length
COMMERCIAL 21-30 Up to 6 Days (5 nights)
11-20 Up to 7 Days (6 nights)
1-10 Up to 8 Days (7 nights)
NON-COMMERCIAL 21-24 Up to 6 Days (5 nights)
11-20 Up to 7 Days (6 nights)
1-10 Up to 8 Days (7 nights)
Outside the Lottery Control Season the maximum group size is 24 and the maximum trip length is 8 days.
  • Public nudity is prohibited.
  • The Antiquities Act prohibits the casual collection of artifacts. For this reason, we ask that you protect and leave all archeological artifacts and natural features intact. Take only pictures and memories; leave only footprints.
Visit the Forest website for more about the floating the Middle Fork at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/sc/

Cancellations and No-Shows

Please note that this reservation is not transferable (exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for medical or special circumstances; call the Middle Fork District office if you have questions about your situation).
If you cannot make the trip, you must always provide a cancellation to the reservation system; no exceptions. . Cancel your reservation at www.recreation.gov as soon as possible, yet no later than 21 days prior to your launch date.
When water levels exceed 5.0 feet, or if the road to Boundary Creek is not open, the time requirements may be waived, but a cancellation must always be submitted. Recreation fees will be refunded once a cancellation is submitted.
Failure to provide a timely cancellation will trigger a late cancellation penalty, and you will be restricted from holding a permit on this river for three years. However, your recreation fees will be refunded after you submit a cancellation at Recreation.gov.
Cancellations are reissued at www.recreation.gov. Cancellations will be posted at a random time on the website within 24 hours of being released.
August 15 through September 15 launch dates will not be reissued after March 15th. Any openings for these dates will not be filled as part of the Chinook salmon mitigation measures being implemented in 2011. Because these dates are not being reissued, the 21-day cancellation requirement has been relaxed and cancellations can be made without penalty until the day before the launch date.

No-Show Penalty: Failure to submit a cancellation of your reservation categorizes you as a no-show. No-shows will not receive a refund of any prepaid fees, and are restricted from holding a permit on this river for three years.




Salmon River Rules and Regulations

Permit Holder must be 18 years old by the launch date.

Fee Payment. Permit holder is responsible for submitting complete and final payment of the entire group's Recreation Fees ($4.00 per person per day) 21 days prior to launching - minor adjustments can occur up to the day prior to your launch. Eligible discounts apply only to the pass holder (Senior and/or Access Pass holders - 50% discount; Salmon River Season Passholders - Free).

Passenger List. A complete and accurate list of trip participants needs to be entered into the Group Member section of the online reservation.

Conditions of the Permit. The permit holder will sign a permit affirming that they have read and understand the definition of a private float trip. A river trip is not commercial if: (1) There is a bona fide sharing of actual expenses, including transportation to and from the site; (2) The trip does not include any costs for payment of salaries or expenses of any person to help with the trip or logistics of the trip; (3) Costs shared by trip members may include the costs of damaged or lost equipment, renting or buying minor equipment but not the acquisition of new equipment to the advantage of an individual or an organization. Persons involved in unauthorized commercial operations are subject to fines and/or imprisonment.
The permit holder is then authorized to enter onto the Wild and Scenic Main Salmon River subject to the following conditions:

  • Permit holder signs the permit and becomes responsible for the group and must be present and accompany the group at all times while on the river.
  • Observe all local, State and Federal laws and regulations. This includes a State of Idaho Invasive Species Sticker.
  • Camp in the reserved camps listed on the permit; if chosen.
  • Carry and display permit upon request of any Forest Officer.
  • Carry and use the following Required Equipment:
    • A porta-potty with sufficient carrying capacity for the number of persons in your group. If you have a pet, you must transport out all pet feces.
    • A firepan and ash container to carry out all campfire ashes and charcoal. Build fires only in safe locations within a fire pan. Tend them with extreme care and completely extinguish prior to retiring for the night or leaving the area. Do not build fire rings. Do not burn garbage that has toxic materials (plastics, metals, etc.).
    • A mesh strainer fine enough to filter coffee grounds. This should be used to strain food particles and other materials from your dish- and gray-water.
    • A bucket and a shovel for fire fighting and camp sanitation.
  • Pick up all garbage including foil, plastic bottles, cans, cigarette butts, and pop tops, and carry them out of the river area to a provided dump site and recycling station.
  • Do NOT use soap, not even biodegradable soap, in any stream, river, lake or hot springs.
  • During the Lottery Control Season, (June 20 - September 7) group size determines trip length :
Group Type Group Size Maximum Trip Length
COMMERCIAL 21-30 Up to 6 Days (5 nights)
11-20 Up to 7 Days (6 nights)
1-10 Up to 8 Days (7 nights)
NON-COMMERCIAL 21-30 Up to 6 Days (5 nights)
11-20 Up to 7 Days (6 nights)
1-10 Up to 8 Days (7 nights)
Outside the Lottery Control Season the maximum group size is 30 and the maximum trip length is 10 days.
  • Public nudity is prohibited.
  • The Antiquities Act prohibits the casual collection of artifacts. For this reason, we ask that you protect and leave all archeological artifacts and natural features intact. Take only pictures and memories; leave only footprints.
Visit the Forest website for more about the floating the Main Salmon River at:http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/sc/

Cancellations and No-Shows

Please note that this reservation is not transferable transferable (exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for medical or special circumstances; call the North Fork Ranger District if you have questions about your situation).
If you cannot make the trip, you must always provide a cancellation to the reservation system; no exceptions. .Cancel your reservation at www.recreation.gov as soon as possible, yet no later than 21 days prior to your launch date.
When water levels are extreme, time requirements may be waived, but a cancellation must always be submitted - Call the North Fork Ranger District to receive up-to-date water levels and conditions. Recreation fees will be refunded once a cancellation is submitted. 
Failure to provide a timely cancellation will trigger a late cancellation penalty, and you will be restricted from participating in the control season lottery on this river for three years. However, your recreation fees will be refunded after you submit a cancellation through Recreation.gov.
Cancellations are reissued at www.recreation.gov. Cancellations will be posted at a random time on the website within 24 hours of being released. 

No-Show Penalty: Failure to submit a cancellation of your reservation categorizes you as a no-show. No-shows will not receive a refund of any prepaid fees, and are restricted from participating in the control season lottery on this river for three years.




Selway River Rules and Regulations

Permits

  • Permits are not required outside of control season, but if on the river pre-season, you may not be on the river May 15
  • Control season May 15 - July 31 - no more than 1 party is allowed to launch each day
  • Outside of control season August 1 to May 14 - unlimited number of launches per day. You must take off the river on May 14.
  • There is a $6.00 non-refundable application fee for all river reservations

Recreation Fees

  • No fees for the Selway River

Group Size

  • During the lottery season, maximum party size is 16, but maximum trip duration can vary
  • Outside the lottery season, maximum party size is 16.

Recommended Equipment

  • Porta potty-(preferably washable) toilet with appropriate capacity
  • Fire pan (3 inch sides)
  • Ash container (preferably metal)
  • Strainer
  • Shovel
  • Bucket
  • Photo ID-permit holder

Camp Sanitation

  • All dish/waste water must be strained and water broadcast above high water mark
  • All human and pet feces should be packed out in porta-potty
  • Absolutely nothing but human/pet waste in porta-potty, no sanitary wipes, tampons, sticks etc. Foreign objects aren't compatible with RV dump stations..
  • All fire ash should be packed out in ash container
  • All urination can be above the high water mark.
  • No soaps even biodegradable in any streams, river or water source
  • Camp on already hardened sites, avoid packing vegetation down
  • All litter, food particles, including micro-trash must be packed out

Camp Etiquette

  • Use only dead and downed wood or charcoal for fire
  • Return any rocks to where found if used for tent, tarp, or boat anchors
  • Leave beaches unmarked, smooth disturbed surfaces
  • Do not disturb or harass wildlife
  • Leave camp in pristine state

Heritage Resources

  • Do not touch, remove or damage any heritage resources (e.g. historic cabins, pictographs, artifacts, etc.) Oils from fingers can contribute to deterioration of pictographs.

Campsites

  • All members of group must camp together
  • Please plan lay-over days in less used sites
  • Camps at Moose Creek may need to be shared with other groups

Tid-Bits

  • Permit holder signs the permit and becomes responsible for the entire group and must be present and accompany group at all times while on the river
  • Observe all local, State and Federal laws and regulations
  • Carry and display permit upon request of any Forest Officer
  • Public nudity is discouraged
  • Respect private property, do not enter unless acknowledged or invited, contain dogs at boat or on leash.
  • Be courteous and efficient at put-in and take-out sites, no camping at boat ramp.
  • Call ahead on road conditions and campfire restrictions



Snake River Rules and Regulations

A permit is required for all private power and float boating on the Wild and Scenic Snake River within the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area year round. A reservation number is required on the permit during the primary season.

The trip leader must have a permit in possession and display it upon request by any Forest Officer.

Permits

  • Primary Season from the Friday preceding Memorial Day through September 10th
  • Secondary Season from September 11th through the Thursday preceding Memorial Day
  • There is a $6.00 non-refundable application fee for all river reservations
  • MAXIMUM PARTY SIZE is 24 People

FLOATCRAFT

  • Limit of 8 floatcraft per float party.
  • Reservation identification tags are required and must be attached to and displayed by each floatcraft during the primary season.
  • Floatcraft operators may have a "kicker" motor, 15 hp max, mounted on their craft, even during periods where powerboats are prohibited. Operation of the motor at any time on the Wild River section is PROHIBITED, except during emergencies.
  • BOAT REGISTRATION NUMBERS on motorized rivercraft must be displayed pursuant to State and Federal requirements. This includes floatcraft with kickers.

WILD RIVER NON MOTORIZED PERIODS

Possessing or operating a motorized rivercraft is prohibited in the section of the Wild River between the top of Wild Sheep Rapids and the upper landing at Kirkwood Historic Ranch during the non motorized periods. These periods are Monday Tuesday Wednesday beginning the first Monday in June and continuing every other week through the end of August. If the July 4th holiday falls in a non motorized period, the non motorized period will be the following week and every other week thereafter.

The use of NON VALID RIVERCRAFT is prohibited. Information on the types of valid and non valid rivercraft is posted at all river permit stations or call (509) 758 0616.

CAMPING

    Primary Season:
  • Wild River Hells Canyon Dam to Upper Pittsburg Landing Three Days and Two Nights per Campsite.
  • Scenic River Upper Pittsburg Landing to Cache Creek Adm. Site Four Days and Three Nights per Campsite.
  • Each party may not occupy more than one campsite per night.
  • Camping at Upper or Lower Granite Creek is limited to one night per trip. Secondary Season:
  • Stay lengths of up to 14 days and 13 nights per campsite.

Other General Rules

  • EQUIPMENT LEFT UNATTENDED for more than 24 hours without permission from a Forest Officer is not authorized.
  • LAUNCHING OF FLOATCRAFT FROM PRIVATE POWERBOATS, year-round in the Wild River and on Friday, Saturday or Sunday in the Scenic River is prohibited.
  • A PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE (PFD) IS REQUIRED for each person on any rivercraft.
  • CHILDREN 12 years or younger are REQUIRED to wear a PFD at all times while rivercraft is under way.
  • USE OR DISPOSAL of soap, detergent or other pollutants in the river is prohibited.
  • SANITATION All solid human waste must be carried out and disposed of as required by local regulations. All trips must be equipped with an approved carry out system RV dump station compatible or equipment indelibly marked with name, address, and phone number of party member. Strain waste water (dishwater) and dispose of at least 100 feet from the outer edge of campsite and river. You are required to pack out all garbage.
  • Use of FUEL ABSORPTION MATERIAL is required during any on river fueling operation.
  • Obey the NO WAKE ZONES within 200 feet of developed recreation and administrative sites at Hells Canyon Creek, Kirkwood, Pittsburg Landing, Copper Creek, Dug Bar and Cache Creek.
  • DROP CAMPS are not authorized during the primary season unless transportation is provided by Commercial Outfitters. Commercial Outfitters, reference Special Use Permit, Annual Operating Plan for guidelines pertaining to drop camp transportation. A permit must be completed for each drop camp location.
  • ANY TYPE OF COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY WITHOUT A SPECIAL USE AUTHORIZATION IS PROHIBITED.
  • OPERATING ANY RIVERCRAFT IN A RECKLESS OR CARELESS MANNER OR WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF INTOXICANTS IS PROHIBITED.
  • DISCHARGING A FIREARM or other instrument capable of causing death or injury within 150 yards of an occupied area, or in any manner or place where persons or property could be injured or damaged is prohibited.
  • POSSESSION AND/OR DISCHARGE OF FIREWORKS is prohibited.
  • CUTTING OR GATHERING ANY FIREWOOD within the river corridor is prohibited. OPEN CAMPFIRES are prohibited. FIREPANS are required to contain camp and/or cooking fires year round. Use of wood for fuel is prohibited from July 1 through September 15. All ashes and other fire residue must be packed out.
  • The Forest Service cooperates with State and Counties enforcement of all applicable laws, including laws pertaining to boating safety and boating under the influence of intoxicants.



Enchantment Permit Area Rules and Regulations

To protect fragile ecosystems and reduce environmental impacts please follow the rules and regulations listed below including enforceable Forest Service regulations with maximum penalties of $5,000 and/or 6 months in jail. Violation of permit terms or other Forest Service regulations may also invalidate an issued permit, requiring a group to terminate their visit. Thank you for helping to keep the Enchantment Permit Area wild.

Wilderness Permits

  • A valid permit is required for both day and overnight use in the Enchantment Permit Area.
  • Day users can obtain a free, self-issue, wilderness permit at the trailhead.
  • During the quota season (June 15-Oct. 15), overnight users must obtain a permit through Recreation.gov or the Wenatchee River Ranger Station daily lottery. Permits are $5.00/person/day.
  • You must enter the permit area on the entry date shown on your permit.
  • You may camp only in the zone(s) indicated on your permit.
  • You must carry your permit and photo identification with you and present these upon request to any Forest Officer or other law enforcement officer throughout the duration of your trip.
  • You may not re-enter on a different date using the same permit.
  • Your permit is not valid until signed.

Group Size

  • Eight (8) people is the maximum group size allowed together in any of the permit zones.
  • You may not exceed the limit at any time while camping or travelling.
  • Two (or more) groups on separate permits may not travel and/or camp together if the total number exceeds eight. For example, a group of 6 may not travel or camp with another group of 3, as this would exceed the 8 person party size limit. Groups must stay separate (minimum of 1 mile and 1hour) and independent throughout their trip.
  • Groups with pack or saddle stock may not exceed a total group size of eight. For example, a group could consist of 4 people + 4 stock for a total group size of eight.

Camping:

  • All members of a permit group must camp together.
  • You may only camp in the permit zone(s) listed on your permit.
  • Camp only at established campsites-do not camp on vegetation, move rocks, build walls, or disturb soils to improve a site.
  • It is illegal to cut any standing tree, dead or alive, damage vegetation, or damage any natural feature for any reason.

Campfires:

  • Fires are prohibited throughout the vast majority of the Enchantment Permit Area; no fires anywhere above 5,000 feet or within 1/2 mile of any lakes.
  • Stoves are allowed.

Toilet Facilities & Water Quality

  • Use toilets where provided. Do not put trash into toilets; use them for their intended purpose only.
  • If you're not near a toilet, dig a cat hole 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet from water sources or campsites. When finished, fill hole and cover with soil.
  • Do not urinate on vegetation or soils. Use gaps between boulders, crevices in rocks, large flat rocks, sandy bare areas, or the toilets provided. Urine attracts goats and leads to pawing and chewing of plants and soil and may lead to abnormal aggressive animal behavior.
  • Bathe and wash dishes at least 150-200 feet from lakes and streams. Remember that ALL soaps, including biodegradable soaps, pollute water.
  • Treat all water by boiling, using purification tablets, or filtering.

Dogs and other Pets:

  • Dogs are prohibited, as are any other pets, throughout the permit area.

Goats and other Wildlife:

  • Do not urinate on vegetation or soils or within campsite areas. This encourages goats to become habituated to human contact and may lead to abnormal and aggressive behaviors. Goat Warning .
  • Discourage wild animals from becoming too tame - enjoy them from a distance that is safe for both you and them.
  • Never feed the wildlife.
  • Click here for bear safety tips.

Pack and Saddle Stock:

  • Certified weed free feed is required on ALL National Forest Lands. Click here for more information.
  • Groups with pack or saddle stock may not exceed a total of eight persons plus head of stock. (4 people + 4 mules = 8).
  • Stock are prohibited on the Snow Lake and Colchuck Lake Trails, and are only allowed on the Stuart Lake Trail in the fall from the first Saturday after Labor Day until the end of that year.
  • Stock may not be grazed, tied, hitched, hobbled, or held within 200' of any lake or pond.
  • Camping with stock in the permit area is allowed only at suitable sites more than 200' from water, including the designated stock site at Upper Caroline Lake. No camping with stock is allowed within 1/2 mile of the Eightmile Lakes.
  • Stock may be tied directly to trees only for short periods of time, not to exceed 4 hours, and not to trees of less than 6 inches diameter.

Food and Fish Remains

  • Hang food, toiletries, and other attractive items when in camp, and keep food and camp waste where bears, mice, and other animals cannot reach.
  • Do not feed wildlife or leave food waste for them to find.
  • Dispose of fish remains well away from campsites, trails, and shorelines.

Storing or Caching Supplies:

  • It is illegal to leave camp gear or any other supplies or materials unattended for more than 48 hours.
  • Geocaching is prohibited in all designated wilderness areas. Please practice this sport elsewhere.
  • All litter, trash, equipment, and personal property must be carried out with you at the end of each trip.

Fishing, Firearms & Fireworks

  • State fish and game laws apply.
  • Discharging a firearm is prohibited within 150 yards of a campsite, or occupied area, or in any manner or location that places people or property at risk of injury.
  • Fireworks of any kind are illegal.



Cables on Half Dome Rules and Regulations

General Rules

  • Carry out all trash. Do not burn or bury toilet paper or trash.
  • Proper food storage is mandatory. All food and scented items must be within arm`s reach at all times. Report any bear incidents to the nearest ranger.
  • Bicycles, strollers, and any mechanized transport are prohibited.
  • All pets are prohibited.
  • All human waste must be buried at least six inches deep and at least 100 feet from water sources, camp areas, and trails.
  • Do all washing at least 100 feet from water. Do not put any soap in water (even biodegradable and natural soap pollutes).
  • Fishing is permitted with a valid California fishing license. All pertinent California state fishing regulations apply.
  • Motorized equipment is prohibited.



Desolation Wilderness General Rules

To protect fragile ecosystems and reduce environmental impacts please follow the visitor use guidelines listed below.
The following are enforceable Forest Service regulations (maximum penalty of $5,000 and/or 6 months in jail)

PERMITS

  • A valid permit is required for both day and overnight use year-round.
  • You must enter the Desolation Wilderness on the entry date shown on your permit.
  • During the quota season, you must stay your first night within the destination zone listed on your permit
  • You may not re-enter on a different date using the same permit.
  • Your permit is not valid until signed.
  • You must carry your permit with you during your trip and present it upon request to a Forest Officer

CAMPFIRES

  • Campfires are prohibited year round within Desolation Wilderness.
  • Camp stoves for cooking are permissible.

QUOTA

  • There is a quota limiting the number of visitors to Desolation Wilderness between the Friday before Memorial Day to September 30th each year.
  • There are 45 destination zones designated with maximum quota for the first night stay in each zone during the quota season.
  • The zone quota system in Desolation Wilderness requires you to predetermine the location of your first night's stay.
  • During the off-quota season there is no limit to the number of overnight users in each zone (maximum group size still applies).

GROUP SIZE

  • Group size is limited to 12 people per party who will be together at any time in Desolation Wilderness.
  • Many destination zones have quota less than the maximum group size.
  • Smaller groups increase the wilderness experience both for you and other wilderness visitors.
  • Smaller groups decrease impacts of camping and travelling on the wilderness resource.
  • Stock is limited to 2 animals per person and a maximum of 12 stock per group.

CAMPING

  • Campsite selection is the most important decision you will make during your stay in Desolation Wilderness!
  • The zone quota system in Desolation Wilderness requires you to predetermine the location of your first night's stay.
  • Camp at least 100 feet from lakeshore, stream, or trail.
  • There are camping restrictions for Special Management Areas to reduce impacts at popular lakes.
  • The maximum stay in Desolation Wilderness is 14 days.

SPECIAL MANAGEMENT AREAS

  • Eagle Lake, Grouse and Hemlock Lakes, and the north and east side of Lake of the Woods, have designated campsites established.
  • The designated campsites are marked with a tent symbol on a 4x4 post.
  • Camp within 30' of the marked post.
  • Only one group is allowed at each designated site.
  • If all designated campsites are taken when you arrive at your destination, locate your camp at least 500' from the lakeshore.
  • Restoration sites have been established to allow damaged shorelines and meadows a chance to recover from overuse. Respect these sites and walk a different path!

WASTE

  • Human and dog waste must be disposed of 200 feet from water or trail in a cat hole 6-8 inches deep or packed out.
  • Please pack out your toilet paper.
  • Practice Leave No Trace and pack out everything you pack in, including organic debris.
  • Washing with soap, including biodegradable soap, in a stream, lake or any other water source is prohibited.
  • Please clean your cookware 200' from water sources.

BEARS AND FOOD STORAGE

  • Protect yourself by using bear canisters for food storage, or by hanging your food using the counterbalancing method.
  • Bear proof food storage containers are available for free rental from the Taylor Creek Visitor Center, LTBMU Supervisor's Office, or the Pacific Ranger District.

PETS

  • Your dog must be controlled at all times. Dogs impact wildlife and barking intrudes on the experience of others.
  • El Dorado County has a leash law.
  • Please bury or pack out your dog waste.

NATURAL FEATURES

  • Damaging or removing any natural feature in the Wilderness is prohibited.
  • Photo your finds, leave them behind for others to enjoy.

LIVESTOCK

  • Livestock are limited to two livestock per person and 12 livestock in one group.
  • Do not hitch, tether, or hobble a horse or other saddle or pack animal within 200 feet of a water source or within 100 feet of a campsite.
  • Do not tie stock directly to trees except for loading, unloading, or short rest breaks while traveling
  • Must have approved weed free forage.
  • There are some trails that are not recommended for stock use. Plan your trip carefully.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

  • Treat all water by boiling, using purification tablets, or filtering.
  • State fish and game laws apply.
  • Discharging a firearm is prohibited within 150 yards of a campsite, or occupied area, or in any manner or location that places people or property at risk of injury.
  • Fireworks of any kind are illegal.

COMMERCIAL USE

  • Commercial use may be prohibited in wilderness and/or requires a special use permit. Contact a Forest Service office for more information.
  • If you are charging a fee for leading a group into the wilderness, this is considered outfitting and guiding and requires a special use permit.