Inyo National Forest - Wilderness Permits

Inyo National Forest

Located in California's beautiful eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, Inyo National Forest offers challenging trails, high mountain peaks, and unparalleled views. Several of our trails give entry to the John Muir Trail or Pacific Crest Trail with the opportunity to trek in the longest roadless section of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Our trails offer possibilities for hiking, photography, peak bagging, fishing, or simply enjoying the pristine beauty of the High Sierra. Whether you are seeking solitude, exceptional scenery, or sharing a wilderness adventure, there are many ways to create a memorable experience. 

Come, take a deep breath of clean mountain air. Put on your pack and hit the trail. Come to experience nature and let it refresh your spirit. Places to explore include the Ansel Adams, John Muir, Golden Trout, Hoover, and South Sierra wildernesses. Trips beginning on Inyo National Forest may continue into the wilderness areas of Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks. 

As you plan your trip, remember that we must take care of this amazing place. While you are here, be respectful of water, woods, and wildlife. Travel lightly on the land. Remember to leave this place undamaged so it will continue to be what we seek of wilderness. 

Learn more about planning and preparing for a wilderness trip (PDF) in Inyo National Forest.

Notifications and Alerts

Permit & Season Information

Wilderness permit is required year round for overnight trips into John Muir, Ansel Adams, Golden Trout and Hoover Wilderness, and Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite National Parks. Only the leader or alternate specified in the reservation may pick up or use the permit. 

Permit holder accepts responsibility for their group:  

Trips sponsored by organizations or commercial groups must contact the wilderness permit office, a special use permit may be needed.

Need to Know

Check-in 2 to 14 days in advance to have the permit emailed.

Visitor centers are issuing all permits by email and phone for the 2020 season. No walk up service.

Requesting by Email (allow 2 days to receive the permit): 

Subject Line: [Entry Date] [Trail Name] [Reservation Number]

In the body of your message answer the following;

If you did not complete your itinerary provide the general location you plan to be each day.

Include any questions you may have on the following topics:

Send to: SM.FS.WildPmt_Inyo@usda.gov 

Permit will be sent by email to print out before the trip. The signed permit must be in the group leader’s possession during the trip and must be presented to rangers upon request. The group leader signing the permit is accepting responsibility to ensure everyone in their group will follow the rules and regulations on the permit. 

Drop Box Service

If you don't have a printer you can request a paper copy of your permit be placed in the drop box outside the visitor center, link to Permit Pickup Instructions.   

Be Bear Aware! 

Be alert when arriving at night in areas with bear activity.  

Human Waste Disposal  

There are no restrooms in the wilderness. Visitors to the Mt. Whitney area are expected to pack-out their solid human waste. In other areas poop should be buried six to eight inches deep and at least 100 feet or more from water sources, trails, or campsites. 

Behave Responsibly 

Respect other visitor’s desire for quiet and solitude. Please help protect this natural resource and leave it unmarked for future visitors. Familiarize yourself with the seven principles of Leave No Trace and review wilderness rules with all members of your group.  

Safety Is Your Responsibility! 

Fee Policy

Reservation Fee:

A $6.00 non-refundable reservation fee is required for each permit reservation. Reservation fees are used to finance the on-line reservation system and software for permit data.

Recreation Fee:

A per person recreation fee is charged for your group when reserving a wilderness permit for entry on Inyo National Forest trails.

The recreation fees are used to finance the on-the-ground wilderness programs in Inyo National Forest.

There are no discounts for annual passes, military, seniors, or children. All people count for wilderness quotas and fees.

Fees cannot be transferred to other dates or trails. No rain checks or credits.

Cancellation Policy

Reservations cannot be sold or transferred to other people. Only the group leader or listed alternate can pick up or use the permit. Leader or alternate leader names cannot be changed or added.

Changes you can make on line:

Refunds:

No refund if you cancel your reservation 21 days or less before the entry date. No refund of reservation fee.

Log onto your account at Recreation.gov to make changes or call the wilderness permit office for Inyo National Forest for reservation assistance, (760) 873-2483.

Contact Information

Mailing Address

351 Pacu Lane Bishop CA 93514

Phone Number

760-873-2483

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