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Inyo National Forest - Wilderness Permits, CA

part ofInyo National Forest, US Forest Service

Overview

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 John Muir, Ansel Adams, Golden Trout and Hoover Wilderness, as well as 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. Click Here for additional information about wilderness permits, or contact Inyo National Forest.

Know Before You Go
  • Reservations cannot be transferred.
  • Pick up your permit when you arrive, instructions are in confirmation letter.
  • Only the group leader or listed alternate leader can pick up or use the permit.
  • Confirm your group size or pick up your permit by 10 am on the entry date or the reservation will be canceled as a No Show. Please confirm group size one or two weeks before your trip to hold the reservation for late arrival.
  • No refunds for transactions completed less than 22 days before the entry date.
  • Change of entry trail, date of entry, permit type or Mt. Whitney exit date: If space is available, cancel your current reservation and reserve the desired trail and dates. You will pay new reservation and transaction fees.
  • Changes to group size can be made online if space if available.
  • Corrections to itinerary or exit can be done when the permit is issued.
  • Log into your account at Recreation.gov to make changes, confirm group size or cancel reservations or call the wilderness permit office for Inyo National Forest for wilderness information or reservation assistance. (760) 873-2483
  • Refer to the rules and regulations for Inyo National Forest wilderness areas for information about permit requirements, trail quotas, group size limits, food storage requirements, campfires, camping and other wilderness regulations

Contact Information

Inyo National Forest
351 Pacu Lane
Suite 200
Bishop, CA 93514
760-873-2400
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