Desolation Wilderness Day Use Permits

What Has Changed This Year?

  • Day users may obtain a free permit from the Placerville Ranger Station or may issue themselves a permit at most major trailheads in the summer. During the winter, day permits are available at the Placerville Ranger Station. Day use is not subject to fees nor limited by quota at any time of the year. Permits are required year-round.

Trailhead Day Use Fee

Concession Operated (Wilderness related) Day Use Areas  

Facilities:  Loon Lake, Rockbound, and Twin Lakes Trailheadare under concession management by Royal Elk Park Management. NOTE: Pyramid Creek is currently closed to all recreation use until further notice.

  • Fee: $8.00 per vehicle per day.
  • Interagency Annual, Senior, and Access passes (America the Beautiful) - These passes DO NOT APPLY to concession operated facilities with standard amenity fees (which are typically our day use sites).
  • Day Use Pass - The concession has developed its own Day Use pass for the facilities it operates.
  • Desolation Wilderness permit holders - The fee is waived for valid overnight permit holders. Be sure to obtain or print your parking pass and properly display in your vehicle. The Pass does not guarantee parking will be available.

Forest Service Operated (Wilderness related) Day Use Areas

Facilities: Eagle Falls, Carson Pass, Carson Pass Overflow and Meiss Trailheads.  NOTE: Lyons Creek Trailhead is currently closed to all recreation use until further notice (typically no fee at Lyons Creek Trailhead).

  • Fee: $5.00 per vehicle per day.
  • Interagency Annual, Senior, and Access passes (America the Beautiful) ALLOW the holder to park for FREE at the Eagle Falls, Carson Pass, Carson Pass Overflow and Meiss Trailheads.
  • Interagency Passes do not apply to the purchase of a Wilderness permit, Fee Card or Parking Pass.
  • Desolation Wilderness permit holders - The fee is waived for valid overnight permit holders. Be sure to obtain or print your parking pass and properly display in your vehicle. The Pass does not guarantee parking will be available. 
  • Desolation Trails & Trailheads

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    Check out this page for a list of destinations by trailhead. The charts include the distance one way to the destination, the difficulty rating for that section of the trail, and the zone you will be in when you reach that destination.