Dispersed Camping

Dispersed, or undeveloped, camping provides more solitude and an opportunity to “rough it.”There are many camping opportunities in general forest areas as well as in wilderness areas.

Know before you go: Before traveling visit or call the nearest Ranger Station for current fire restrictions and area closures.

  • No wood or charcoal campfires (check current fire restrictions before you go).
  • Vehicles must remain on roads and associated pullouts.
  • Do not clear vegetation.
  • Portable gas-powered stoves, lanterns and fire rings with a fuel-shutoff valve allowed with a California Campfire Permit and five feet clearance from vegetation.
  • Camp at least 200 feet from springs, water, meadows, trails and roads.
  • Camp at least a quarter-mile from designated campgrounds, picnic areas, trailheads.
  • Camp at least a quarter-mile from private property and state highways.
  • Pack out all trash.
  • Leave no trace!

Wilderness Dispersed Camping:

Wilderness campsites are accessible by foot and/or horseback only and require a free wilderness permit, which may be reserved up to three months in advance. The number of visitors admitted to the wilderness is limited. On summer weekends some wilderness areas may fill to capacity well in advance. Use of certain trailheads that have facilities like restrooms require an Adventure Pass or an Interagency Pass, which must be displayed on the parked vehicle.

When camping in the wilderness, lightweight stoves are recommended. Campfires are NEVER allowed in Wilderness areas.

Dispersed Camping Areas

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities