John Muir Wilderness


Little Lakes Valley

The John Muir Wilderness stretches for 100 miles along the crest of the Sierra. It is a land of lofty snow-capped mountains, deep canyons and vast expanses of glacially carved terrain. The John Muir Wilderness was designated by Congress in 1964. It covers 650,000 acres. 299,000 acres are managed by the Inyo National Forest, while the remainder is managed by the Sierra National Forest.

The wilderness was named in honor of John Muir, who once described himself as a "self-styled poetico-tramp-geologist-bot. and ornith-natural, etc.!!!” Muir spent his life advocating for the protection of the wild parts of the Sierra Nevada.


At a Glance

Permit Info:
  • Wilderness permits are required for all overnight use, and for all day use in the Mt. Whitney Zone.
  • From May 1 to November 1, use is regulated by limited entry quotas.
  • Permits may be reserved in advance, or obtained on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • For information about obtaining wilderness permits & reservations  click here...

General Information

General Notes:

Inyo National Forest and Sierra National Forest share management responsibility for the John Muir Wilderness. Approximately 299,000 Acres (46%) of the its 653,000 acres is managed by INF. It is contiguous with Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, Ansel Adams Wilderness, Golden Trout Wilderness and several other wilderness areas. Together, they constitute one of the largest roadless areas in the lower 48 states.

The John Muir Wilderness is very heavily used. Approximately 30 million people live within a few hours’ drive. Access routes to Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, as well as the iconic John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails, pass through it. High levels of use and the flux of visitors across jurisdictional boundaries require that visitors to adhere to high standards of conduct. Before visiting, familiarize yourselves with jurisdictional boundaries, regulations and appropriate Leave No Trace practices.



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Horse Riding & Camping

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