Permit Pick Up Instructions
The group leader or alternate leader must pick up the wilderness permit and carry the permit while on the trail. Wilderness permits for Inyo National Forest are issued at four locations*. Reserved permits can be picked up one or two days before the trip. How to request a permit without a reservation is described under "Walk in Permits"
*Mt. Whitney Permits MUST be picked up in Lone Pine.
Links to Plan and Prepare for your Trip:
~ Weather ~ Avalanche
~ Recreation Reports list current conditions for trails and campgrounds
~ Visitor Centers open hours, directions & phone numbers
~ Wilderness Trip Planning Guide
~ Traveling in Bear Country
~ Permit Policy
Walk In Permits:
The person requesting the permit must be going on the trip and must be in person at the visitor center. Walk in permits cannot be held by phone or web. Requests for walk in permits are high on weekends, holidays and during the months of July, August and early September. Be prepared with more than one possible choice of trail and itinerary information.
During the quota season...
~ walk in permits are issued starting at 11 am one day before the trip entry date.
~ If space is still available, permits can be issued on the day of the trip.
During non quota/ winter season... (November 2 to April 30)
~ permits can be issued any time the day before the trip or on the day of the trip.
~ Self-issue permit forms are available at night when the visitor center is closed.
The group leader or alternate must pick up the permit and carry it on the trail. Reservation email is not proof of having a valid permit.
You must pick up the permit or confirm your reservation before the deadline or the reservation will be canceled.
One or two weeks before the trip...Confirm your group size to hold the reservation for late arrival.
~ Log onto your account at Recreation.gov and open the details for your reservation.
~ If your group size will be smaller than you reserved, correct the group size.
~ Click the confirm button to ensure your reservation will be held until the close of business on your entry date.
One or two days before the trip... Pick up the permit or arrange for night box service.
~ Only the group leader or listed alternate leader may pick up the permit.
~ The person picking up the permit must be going on the wilderness trip.
~ Reservation will be canceled if you do not pick up or confirm your reservation before 10 am on the entry date,
~ Permits that will go overnight into Sequoia or Kings Canyon National Parks must be issued in person at the visitor center during open hours.Night box service is not available.
~ Arrange for "Night Box" pick up for trips where it is allowed, by following the night box directions below.
Each visitor center has a night box located outside the visitor center where reserved permits can be placed for you to retrieve the night before your trip. You must make arrangements in advance; night box is not automatic. Night box service is not available for trips that will go overnight into Sequoia or Kings Canyon National Parks.
~ Call the Wilderness Permit Office a few days before your trip and request night box service. (760) 873-2483
~ Provide your itinerary and confirm your group size.
~ You will be given wilderness information related to the area you will be visiting and instructions for the night box.
~ Rental bear cans cannot be left out for night pickup.
Permits issuing locations:
Open hours may change; check for current hours before your trip. Commercial opperators, contact the commercial desk at the wilderness office for your permits.
~ Group leader must have the permit with them during the trip.
~ The group leader signing the permit is responsible for ensuring that everyone in the group follows all of the rules and regulations during the wilderness trip.
~ Reservations or permits cannot be sold or transferred to other parties. (Only a listed alternate leader can replace the group leader.)
~ Group must start on the entry date and location stated in the permit.
~ Large groups cannot exceed group size limits even if they have separate permits.
~ Each trip requires a new wilderness permit; there is no season pass.
~ The National Interagency Pass or Golden Eagle Pass is not a substitute for specific activity permits, like a wilderness permit. There are no discounts for wilderness permits.
~ All people count for wilderness quotas and fees; prices are not different for children or seniors.
~ Reservations can be made until two days before the entry date. A lottery is held for Mt. Whitney reservations, for trails other than Mt. Whitney, reservations can be made starting six months in advance.
~ All remaining space is available for walk-in permits one day before the entry date. For a list of trail names and quotas click here…
Still have questions? Call the Wilderness Permit Office.
Wilderness Permit Office & Wilderness Information
351 Pacu Lane Suite 200
Bishop, CA 93514
Phone line is open from 8 am to 4:30 pm.
Open daily from May 15 to October 15
Winter season we are closed on weekends and holidays.