Mokelumne Wilderness Permits

Photo of permit sign along trail

Permits are mandatory for entry into the Mokelumne Wilderness year round for overnight use.

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.

Overnight Permits: Required year-round.

Day-Use Permits: None.

Maximum group size: 12 people for day-use, and 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.

Campfires: NOT ALLOWED in the Carson Pass Management Area (CPMA). Camp stoves are permitted with a valid California Campfire Permit. Note: Fire restrictions are in place for the entire Eldorado National Forest.

How to Obtain a Permit

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

To protect the fragile alpine environment, overnight camping in the Carson Pass Management Area (Winnemucca, Round Top, and Fourth of July Lakes) is allowed only in designated campsites.

  • Campsites in the CPMA must be RESERVED IN ADVANCE of your trip. 
  • Reservations can be made on a first come, first served basis by leaving a voicemail on the CPMA permit line 209-268-0165 beginning at 8:00 am on the Monday proceeding the week of your trip. Carson Pass Information Station is still closed due to Covid 19.
  • Stay limits are 2 nights at Winnemucca and Round Top Lakes and 3 nights at Fourth of July Lake. Limited availability with 13 sites total for all 3 lakes per night.
  • Frog Lake is open for day hiking but not overnight camping. This is considered part of the CPMA area.

Mokelumne Wilderness Permits for areas OUTSIDE of the CPMA boundaries

  • These are now self-issued and can be created here.
  • Instructions for these permits can be found here.  

Backpacking Trails in the Mokelumne Wilderness