Desolation Wilderness Permits
Permits are required year-round for both day and overnight use. There are fees for overnight camping year-round.
Group size is limited to 12 people per party who will be hiking or camping together.
Day users may obtain a free permit from one of the following offices, or may issue themselves a permit at most major trailheads in the summer. During the winter, day permits are available at the Pacific Ranger Station. Day use is not subject to fees nor limited by quota at any time of the year.
QUOTA - During the summer a Quota is in effect on the number of people allowed into the wilderness. Refer to the Zone Quota page when you design your trip.
FEES - There are fees associated with the Desolation Program. Refer to the Fee page.
OVERNIGHT USERS - Must register in person and pay fees (day of entry permits) at one of the following offices. Please make every effort to to obtain your permit in person during business hours.
Reservations: The new on-line service at www.recreation.gov allows wilderness visitors to make their reservations any time of the day seven days per week. A call center, 1-877-444-6777, is available to assist with reservations daily from 7 AM – 9 PM in the summer and 7 AM to 7 PM in the winter. To assist you with obtaining an overnight permit, please review this helpful tip sheet, “How to obtain an overnight permit for Desolation Wilderness.”
Pick up permits for WEST side entry at the:
PACIFIC RANGER DISTRICT
Located four miles east of Pollock Pines on Highway 50.
7887 Highway 50, Pollock Pines, CA 95726
Phone: (530) 647-5415
Winter: Weekdays only. Monday through Saturday as of late April.
Summer: 7 days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through October.
Pick up permit for EAST side entry at the:
LAKE TAHOE VISITOR'S CENTER
Located three miles north of the Highway 50/89 junction at South Lake Tahoe, on Highway 89.
Call for hours, phone: (530)543-2674
Open summer only.
LAKE TAHOE BASIN MANAGEMENT UNIT
Located two miles east of hte Highway 50/89 junction in South Lake Tahoe on Highway 50. From the highway turn right on Al Tahoe Blvd. and then turn right at first signal.
35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150.