Located in California's beautiful eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, Inyo National Forest offers clean air, crystal blue skies, mountain lakes and streams, challenging trails, high mountain peaks and unparalleled views. Whether you are seeking exceptional scenery, solitude or sharing a wilderness adventure, there are many places to explore.
With over 2 million acres, the forest is home to numerous natural wonders, including Mt. Whitney, Mono Lake, Mammoth Lakes Basin and the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, as well as nine designated wilderness areas that comprise over 800,000 acres of land. Click here for more information on planning and preparing for a wilderness trip in Inyo National Forest.
Wilderness permits are required year-round for all overnight trips into the Golden Trout, John Muir, Ansel Adams, Hoover Wilderness and Mt. Whitney Zones, as well as overnight visitors to wilderness areas in Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks. Visitors who are day hiking in the Mount Whitney Zone are also required to have a permit. Click here for more information on wilderness permits.
During the high use season, many wilderness areas in Inyo National Forest have quotas that limit the number of people allowed to enter each day. This is to help protect the wilderness value of the area.
Because quotas are based on the number of people starting on the trail each day, everyone in your group must start on the entry date and trail listed on your permit. Your group cannot have more people than indicated by your permit.
Click here for a list of trails and quotas in Inyo National Forest.
When quotas are in effect, additional space is saved for walk-in permit requests. All unused reservation space and 40% of the quota space is available on a walk-in basis starting at 11 a.m. one day before the trip entry date.
Permit requests are high on weekends, holidays and during the months of July and August. Be prepared with ideas for alternate trails in case your first choice is full. Contact Inyo National Forest for information about walk-in permits.
For additional questions about how to obtain a wilderness permit from Inyo National Forest and information on permit requirements, please click here.