Hoover Wilderness

Hoover WildernessRising from the Great Basin to the crest of the Sierra Nevada bordering Yosemite National Park, the Hoover Wilderness is a spectacular piece of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. This wilderness area is widely known for its extreme mountainous terrain, glistening alpine lakes, and lush meadows.


The Hoover Wilderness was first established as a ‘primitive area’ in 1931. It was not until the 1964 Wilderness Act that the Hoover become protected as a ‘wilderness area.’ This wilderness area is managed by both the Humboldt-Toiyabe and Inyo National Forests.

The Hoover Wilderness has relatively little timber throughout much of its steep terrain that ranges from around 7,000 feet to more than 12,000 feet. Its few forested areas are composed of scattered groves of hemlock, pine, aspen, and cottonwood. Diverse wildflowers are spread over the intermittent meadows found throughout the wilderness area. The lakes and streams are inhabited by brown, brook, golden, and rainbow trout species. The wilderness area also provides habitat for black bears, Sierra Nevada bighorn Sheep, mule deer, Sierra Nevada Red Fox and Bi-State sage-grouse.


Click here for a map of  the Hoover Wilderness (5.81 MB)


Hoover Wilderness Details


Nearest California Town:  Bridgeport



  • Buckeye Creek
  • Green Creek
  • Horse Creek
  • Leavitt Meadows
  • Little Slide Canyon
  • Robinson Creek
  • Virginia Lakes


Permits:  Wilderness permits are required year-round for overnight stays in the Hoover Wilderness. Permits are limited by a trailhead quota from the last Friday in June through September 15. Click here for more detailed information.


Maximum Group: 


Sept. 15 thru the last Thursday in June


Last Friday in June through Sept. 15

Click here for more detailed information.


Rules and Regulations:

  • Do not cut or damage standing trees, live or dead.  CFR261.6(a)
  • It is illegal to possess or use any motorized or mechanized equipment, including chainsaws. Code of Federal Regulations 36CFR261.16.
  • Hoover Wilderness (Forest Order 04-17-13-09)
    • Please store food properly, so bears or other wild animals cannot get to it. Approved bear-resistant food canisters are required in the Hoover Wilderness. Hanging or guarding of food items is not allowed. Clean up food and debris if a bear does get into food.
    • Camping is allowed for no more than 14 consecutive days within any 30-day period.
    • Do not camp within 100 feet of any lake shore, stream, or trail.  If terrain does not permit camping at least 100 feet away, camp no less than 25 feet away in any situation.
    • Do not camp within ¼ mile of Barney Lake for more than one consecutive night.  Do not camp within 100 feet of the Barney Lake shore.
    • There is no camping at Red, Blue, and Big Virginia Lakes.
    • Do not build, attend, maintain, or use a campfire, stove fire or barbecue (or any fire that uses wood or charcoal), except for a portable stove using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized fuel, within ¼ mile of Barney Lake or Peeler Lake and above 9,000 feet within the Virginia Creek and Green Creek drainages.
    • Do not discharge a firearm, air rifle, or gas gun except for emergencies, or the taking of wildlife as permitted by state law.
    • It is illegal to possess or use a bicycle, wagon, cart, or other vehicle.
    • It is illegal to possess or use any motorized or mechanized equipment, including chainsaws.
      • Sawtooth Ridge Zone:
        • Do not build, maintain, or use a campfire (any wood or charcoal fire).
        • Do not camp within 100 yards of established routes.
        • Maximum group size is 8 persons, and no stock. Order Number: 83-02.


Special Information:





Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
Bridgeport Ranger District
HC 62 Box 1000
Bridgeport, CA 93517
(760) 932-7070


Inyo National Forest
Supervisor's Office
351 Pacu Lane, Suite 200
Bishop, CA 93514
(760) 873-2400