Sierra National Forest Wilderness Permit

Sierra National Forest

Located in California's beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains, Sierra 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, Dinkey Lakes, and Kaiser wildernesses. Trips beginning on Sierra National Forest may continue into the wilderness areas of Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks or Inyo National Forest. 

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.

Notifications and Alerts

Permit & Season Information

A permit is required year-round for overnight trips into John Muir, Ansel Adams, Dinkey Lakes and Kaiser Wildernesses, and Inyo National Forest, as well Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite National Parks. Only the leader or alternate specified in the reservation may pick up or use the permit. 

Each year quota season permits become available for advanced reservations six months in advance of your trip start day. 

Permit holder accepts responsibility for their group:

Trips sponsored by organizations or commercial groups must contact the wilderness permit office. 

Need to Know

Permit Pickup Instructions

No Show deadline is 10 a.m. on the entry date. Pick up your permit or arrange for late arrival before the deadline or your reservation will be canceled.

To hold your permit until 5 p.m. on the entry date:

Reserved permits can be picked up one or two days before the entry date, or on the entry date.

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. Wild erness regulations are enforceable with maximum penalties of $5,000 and/or 6 months in jail. 

Be Bear Aware!

Human Waste Disposal

Solid human waste 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: 

Risk & Responsibility

Wilderness Backcountry

Activities like backpacking, hiking, skiing, and mountaineering and horse camping are allowed. Motorized or mechanical activities like mountain biking or drones are not allowed in wilderness. There are maintained trails through the area to hike on, but no developed campground facilities. Once you start on the trail, there are no water faucets and no restrooms.   

Crossing Park & Forest Boundaries

One permit is valid for continuous wilderness travel, including traveling through adjacent parks and forests. Provide the exit location, exit date and itinerary information to indicate your full travel plan. 

You must follow the local rules while you are in each park or forest. Check regulations for each area you will visit regarding pets, food storage, camping and campfire restrictions, stay limits, smaller group size limits for off trail routes. No pets in National Parks. 

Trips ending at Mt Whitney (Whitney Portal- Inyo National Forest) must be identified in your Sierra NF permit. 

Fee Policy

Reservation Fee:

A $6.00 non-refundable reservation fee is required for each permit reservation. 

Recreation Fee:

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

The recreation fees are used to finance the on-the-ground wilderness programs in Sierra 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 online:

Refunds:

No refund of the $6 reservation fee. A refund of the per person fee will be granted 12 days in advance of a trip. Log onto your account at Recreation.gov to make changes or call Sierra National Forest for reservation assistance, (559) 297-0706.

Contact Information

Mailing Address

1600 Tollhouse Road Clovis CA 93612

Office hours: Monday-Friday 0800-4:30

Phone Number

(559) 297-0706 ext. 0

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