Mokelumne Wilderness Permits

The permit system allows the Forest Service to inform visitors of their responsibilities for preserving the wilderness resource, gather important recreation use data, and to limit use where necessary. Permits can also be helpful in locating people during emergencies. Organized commercial or institutional groups will also need an Outfitter-Guide permit: contact the local Ranger Station for more information.

Day-Use Permits

  • There is NO Day Use permit for the Mokelumne Wilderness.
  • Maximum group size: 12 people for day-use.

Overnight Permits

  • Permits are REQUIRED for entry into the Mokelumne Wilderness YEAR ROUND for overnight use.
  • Maximum group size: 8 people for overnight use.
    • If you have a larger group than is permitted, reduce the number of people, split the group to visit different areas, or visit an area which permits larger numbers. You are not permitted to camp or travel within one mile of a related group.

Other Permit Information:

  • Only one permit is required per group and must remain with someone in the party at all times.
  • Each permit is good for one trip only.
  • You must enter at the trailhead designated on your permit.

How to Obtain a Permit


  • Carson Pass Information Station: (Open only in the Summer) -  * Carson Pass Management Area (CPMA): Lake Winnemucca, Round Top Lake, and 4th of July Lake.
  • Amador Ranger District Office: The Amador District office on Silver Drive in Pioneer, CA is open for in-person visits. ​Office hours for the Amador District office are Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm (closed on federal holidays and weekends). 
Obtaining a Mokelumne Wilderness Permit


Time Period

May 27th - September 5, 2022

September 6, 2022 - May 26, 2022

9/12 - 25, 2022

  • Monday through Thursday at Amador Ranger Station
  • Friday and Saturday at Carson Pass Information Station.
Method for Carson Pass Management Area*

IN-PERSON only at the Carson Pass Information station.

IN-PERSON through the 24th.

After September 24th, call the Permit Phone Line at or after 8 AM.

Method for General Mokelumne Wilderness Area:




For the 2022 Summer season.

Summer Permit Procedures, Instructions and form link

For the 2022/23 Winter Season.

For Carson Pass Area - Call (209) 283-1341 and leave your...

  • name
  • phone number
  • number of people
  • location you would like to stay
  • and a valid email address

You will be contacted by 2 pm if you will be able to get a spot.

(If the slots are filled you will not be contacted due to the large number of calls.)


For General Mokelumne camping use the...

* Carson Pass Management Area (CPMA) = Lake Winnemucca, Round Top Lake, and 4th of July Lake.

Other Things to Know Before You Go

Parking: A Snow Park permit to park is required for parking at Carson Pass and the Meiss Trailheads from November 1 through April 30. Please have the permit placed on dashboard of vehicle. Purchase and print from the website, do not relay on vendors being open and selling. Call the vendor first. This is a California state managed program. CHP will be patrolling the parking lots ($94.50 fine), and Cal Trans will be plowing. Keep a close eye on the Cal Trans chain control and road closure website, and the NOAA-7 Day Forecast

Camping spot: 200’ away from water, do not cause resources damage, stay in an existing tent pad. 

Campfires: NOT ALLOWED in the Carson Pass Management Area (CPMA) or above 8,000 feet in elevation. Camp stoves are permitted with a valid California Campfire Permit that can be obtained at Ready for

Carson Pass Management Area:  Lake Winnemucca, Round Top Lake, and 4th of July Lake.

  • Frog Lake is open for day hiking but not overnight backpacking. This is considered part of the CPMA area, but is closed to overnight camping to preserve the shoreline.
    • Winter Snow Camping at Frog Lake is allowed once the snowpack is 12 inches deep. 

Woods Lake is open for day hiking but not overnight backpacking. This Lake is a developed area with a developed campground, day use area, and has private leased cabins. Overnight camping is only allowed at the Woods Lake developed campground (closed for the season). 

Backpacking Trails

Inside the Mokelumne Wilderness

Outside of the Mokelumne Wilderness