Dispersed Camping

Dispersed Camping is allowed in the National Forest except in the area surrounding Huntington Lake, Shaver Lake, Bass Lake, Redinger Lake, and the Merced River Canyon. Campfire permits are required at all times whenever you plan to have a fire on public land outside of a developed campground. When building a fire please remember to only pick up down and dead wood that is no larger than wrist size and to never leave a campfire unattended.

You can obtain a campfire permit at any Forest office or online at www.prevetnwildfireca.org. Be sure to check and see if  campfire restrictions are in effect, when campfire restrictions are in place you will not be able to make a fire in dispersed camping areas (Developed Designated Campgrounds Only) but, you will be able to operate gas stoves, and lanterns with your permit. 

When camping in the Forest proper food storage is also required either using a bear box, or by the proper use of the counter balance method. While camping anywhere in the forest also keep in mind that there are other people in the forest and we advise you to respect them and their space.

You may stay at one campsite for a limit of 14 days. Please follow MVUM maps for all designated roads and vehicle limitations.

We ask you to always remember to pack out what you pack in. Human waste needs to be buried 6 to 8 inches deep. For any other questions about visiting and camping in the forest and in the wilderness please visit LeaveNoTrace.org

Dispersed Camping Areas

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  • Accessibility
    A continuing goal of the Forest is to provide as many recreation opportunities for everyone to experience the great outdoors.