Desolation Wilderness: Permits

  • Permits - Required year-round for both day and overnight use.  There are fees for overnight camping year-round.
  • Group size - 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 for more information.
  • Overnight Users - Overnight users without reservations must register in person and pay fees at one of the offices listed below.  Please make every effort to to obtain your permit in person during business hours.
  • Reservations - Visitors may now reserve overnight permits online by visiting

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) 644-6048 (general information), (530) 647-5415 (reservations)
Winter:  Weekdays only.  After April 1st, Monday through Saturday.
Summer:  Open Daily, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through October.


Pick up permit for EAST side entry at the:

Taylor Creek Visitor Center
Located three miles north of the Highway 50/89 junction at South Lake Tahoe, on Highway 89.
Phone:  (530) 543-2674
Hours: The Visitor Center will open daily beginning Memorial Day weekend through the month of October, hours will vary.

Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Forest Supervisor's Office
Located two miles east of the Highway 50/89 junction in South Lake Tahoe on Highway 50. From Hwy 50 turn right on Al Tahoe Blvd. and then turn right at first signal.
Address:  35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Phone:  (530) 543-2600
Hours:  Weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., year-round.