Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Wilderness Permits
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks protect one of America's most diverse, rugged, and scenic landscapes. In September of 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Wilderness Act , which made the preservation and protection of such wild places a national priority. As a result of that act and subsequent legislation, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks currently protect more than 1,300 square miles of designated and proposed wilderness, approximately 97% of the parks.
The parks overlie an extraordinary continuum of ecosystems arrayed along the greatest vertical relief (1,370 to 14,505 feet in elevation) of any protected area in the lower 48 states. Magnificent glacial canyons, broad lake basins, lush meadows, and sheer granite peaks--hallmarks of the most rugged portion of the High Sierra--form the core of the largest expanse of contiguous wilderness in California. These are the ancestral lands of the Mono/Monache, Paiute, Tübatulabal, and Yokuts; a unique place valued and visited by people from around the world.
Well-known destinations such as Mount Whitney and popular itineraries such as the John Muir Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, High Sierra Trail, and Rae Lakes Loop are heavily traveled and there is high demand for limited entry. The relatively accessible lake basins near Lodgepole and Mineral King are busy on weekends but can be quiet mid-week. Lesser-known destinations such as the Monarch Divide, Roaring River country, eastern slopes of the Great Western Divide, and the Hockett Plateau can offer outstanding opportunities for solitude throughout the year.
The popularity of these mountains mean that every visitor must minimize their impacts to the land and its community of life. Small actions repeated thousands of times have the potential to degrade the wilderness for current and future generations. Take the time to learn how you can protect this place by reading and understanding the requirements to minimize your impacts while visiting.
Notifications and Alerts
Permit & Season Information
This reservation is for a quota season permit for overnight visitation of wilderness and backcountry areas in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (NP).
Exiting wilderness in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and remaining outside of wilderness overnight shall constitute the end of continuous travel and invalidate the permit for further use. Permits are valid for continuous wilderness travel in the Sequoia, Sierra, and Inyo National Forests (NF) and Yosemite NP, subject to those agencies' conditions.
Travelers entering the parks from the Jennie Lake Wilderness obtain a Sequoia and Kings Canyon NPs permit for the JO Pass, Belle Canyon, or Sugarloaf entrance. Those beginning wilderness trips in the Inyo NF , Sierra NF , Golden Trout portion of the Sequoia NF , or Yosemite NP obtain permits from those agencies which are valid for travel in Sequoia and Kings Canyon NP.
Additional authorization is required to provide commercial services and for certain other activities .
Need to Know
Wilderness protection requires your personal commitment. Plan your activities to allow time and energy for good Leave No Trace practices. All group members are responsible for the complying with the following minimum impact restrictions. A ranger will review these restrictions when you pick up your wilderness permit.
- Carry your signed permit and present it upon request.
- Prevent erosion and preserve vegetation, do not shortcut trails. Close fences and gates behind you.
- Do not build cairns, walls, trenches, fire rings, or bough beds.
- Pets are prohibited.
- Pack out all trash including toilet paper. Caching food or equipment is prohibited.
- Wheeled vehicles and motorized equipment are prohibited.
- Possessing firearms is subject to state regulations; discharge is prohibited. Possession of weapons is prohibited.
- Additional travel, party size, camping, and grazing restrictions apply to stock groups .
- Maximum party size is 15 people on trail, 12 people off trail, except:
- Max. of 10 in Redwood Canyon.
- Max. of 8 on the Colony Mill Road and Don Cecil Trails, and Darwin Canyon.
- Max. of 8 in the off trail areas of Dusy Basin, Sixty Lakes Basin, Sphinx Lakes, Wallace Creek, Whitney and Crabtree Creeks, Upper Rock Creek, Mt. Whitney and Mt. Langley.
- Off trail is defined as 0.5 mi. in areas open to overnight use, 100 yds. in day use areas.
- Affiliated groups may not travel or camp within 0.5 mi. of each other if total group size exceeds limits.
- Never camp within 25 ft. of water. Camp further than 100 ft. from water where possible; camping within 100 ft. is allowed only in well-established sites.
- Camp only on durable surfaces (dirt, rock, snow), never on vegetation.
- Additional camping restrictions apply in some areas .
- Bury human waste at least 6 in. deep and 100 ft. from trails, camps, and water. Pack out used toilet paper and wipes.
- Carry water 100 ft. from the source to wash clothes, dishes, or yourself.
- Poor hygiene causes illness; wash your hands often. Boil, treat, or filter drinking water.
- Store food items to prevent bears or other wildlife from obtaining them. Food items include: any food for human or pack stock, toiletries, food-tainted trash, equipment with food residue.
- Use one of three food storage methods : allowed portable animal-resistant food-storage container; animal-resistant food storage box; or counter-balance hanging technique. In areas without food storage boxes or trees for hanging, you must use an allowed portable animal-resistant food-storage container.
- Allowed animal-resistant food-storage containers are required in the following areas May 1 through October 31: North Dome, Woods and Bubbs Creeks (including the Rae Lakes Loop), Dusy Basin, Pear and Emerald Lakes, and Rock Creek.
- In Kings Canyon NP fires are prohibited above 10,000 ft. and in Granite Basin and Redwood Canyon.
- In the Kaweah and Tule River drainages of Sequoia NP fires are prohibited above 9,000 ft and at Pinto Lake, Summit Lake, Hamilton Lakes, Dillonwood, and the Mineral King Valley.
- In the Kern River drainage of Sequoia NP fires are prohibited above 10,000 ft.
- Use existing fire rings; do not add rocks.
- Burn only dead wood from the ground. Do not burn trash, especially plastic and foil.
- Attend fires at all times. Extinguish fires with water before leaving and stir the ashes.
- Fires may be restricted during high fire danger .
- You are responsible for your own safety. Search and rescue is discretionary. Rescuer safety is the first priority. Exhibit self-reliance commensurate with the riskiness of your activities.
- Cell phones have limited coverage. If you carry a phone or satellite device, learn its operation and limitations. Don't rely on it to summon help or notify family that you are "OK." If you have an emergency and cannot self-rescue, contact a ranger or Park Dispatch at (559) 565-3195. Provide clear, concise information about the nature and exact location of the emergency.
Fees are required to obtain a wilderness permit during quota season. Fees for reserved and walk-up permits are the same.
- Per permit fee: a $15 per permit non-refundable fee is required for each wilderness permit during quota season.
- Per person fee: a $5 per person refundable fee is required for each wilderness permit during quota season.
Reservations and permits are not transferable. Only the listed group leader or alternate leader identified at the time of reservation may be issued the permit. Proof of identity may be required to obtain your permit.
Entry into the parks requires a fee or pass .
80% of fees directly fund projects that improve visitor experience in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks including road and trail maintenance, signage, and visitor information.
Reservation changes and cancellations more than one week before entry date:
- Cancellations are refunded the $5 per person recreation fee.
- Changes to exit location and date and nightly itinerary allowed.
- Changes to party size are allowed subject to availability. Increasing party size will incur an additional $5 per person recreation fee. Decreasing the party size will refund a $5 per person recreation fee.
Reservation changes and cancellations one week or less before the entry date:
- Cancellations are not refunded fees.
- Party size can be decreased but no fees will be refunded.
At the issuing station:
- Changes to exit location and date, and nightly itinerary can made when the permit is issued.
- If quota is available, increases in party size and changes to entry location and date may be made; these will incur additional fees.
Wilderness Office 47050 Generals Highway Three Rivers CA 93271