Mokelumne Wilderness Permits

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.

How to Obtain a Permit


Carson Pass Information Station: OPEN. The Station at Carson Pass is now open for the summer season and are issuing the Carson Pass Management Area permits. * 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 still operating virtually and still closed for in-person visits. â€‹Virtual 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: September 8, 2021 - May 27, 2022

Method for Carson Pass Management Area*: Self-Issue

Method for General Mokelumne Wilderness Area: Self-Issue

Winter Mokelumne Wilderness and CPMA permits can be obtained online with the link below.

By reading document you are agreeing to uphold the rules and regulations of the Eldorado National Forest including the Mokelumne Wilderness.

After reading the document, please find the fillable self-issue permit included, fill out the permit, sign, and email to before your trip.



Time Period: May 28th, 2021 - September 7, 2021

Method for Carson Pass Management Area*

During the summer designated campsites and camping limits are in effect so permits must be issued for the CPMA.

Non-CPMA permits will still be self-issued.

  • IN-PERSON only at the Carson Pass Information station.

Method for General Mokelumne Wilderness Area: Self-Issue

Click the link below and fill out the permit for a Non-CPMA permit.

* 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