Hoover Wilderness Permits

  • Forest Proposes Fee Increase to Hoover Wilderness Permits

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    The Bridgeport Ranger District is asking for public comment on a proposal to increase the Hoover Wilderness permit fee for overnight trips on specific high-use trailheads.

Wilderness permits are required year-round for any overnight stay in the Hoover Wilderness. Permits are not required for day hikes, but wilderness visitors are encouraged to call or stop by local Forest Service offices for current information.

From June 15 through October 15, wilderness permits on certain trails entering the Hoover Wilderness from the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest are limited by a trailhead quota. This quota allows a certain number of people to occupy a trail at one time in order to protect the area from over use and preserve the wilderness experience for visitors. 

In order to insure that a person or group can start their wilderness trip when they want to during quota season, it is highly recommended to visit Recreation.gov to make a reservation under “Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest – Wilderness Permits." Of each daily quota for a trailhead, 50 percent can be reserved ahead of time six months in advance of the desired entry date. The remaining 50 percent is available within three days of the date of entry.

Wilderness permits describe specific travel plans and are valid for one continuous wilderness trip. Exiting the wilderness and reentering at a different location voids the permit. Permits are issued by the agency where the trip begins. Visitors will need to do some basic planning before requesting or reserving a permit.

The Hoover Wilderness is managed by both the Humboldt-Toiyabe and Inyo National Forests. Please note the trailhead where the trip is to begin, and which forest it is on. Always apply for a wilderness permit from the forest where the trip starts.

Trips sponsored by organization or commercial groups must contact the Bridgeport Ranger District, because a special use permit may be needed.

For further information about quotas, reservations, and other wilderness permit-related questions, please call the Bridgeport Ranger District at 760-932-7070, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST, or call the Recreation.gov Call Center at 877-444-6777, 10 a.m. to midnight EST, seven days a week.

Click here for more details on the Hoover Wilderness including trailhead information.

 

Wilderness Trip Planning

Quota

The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest portion of the Hoover Wilderness has a trailhead quota system limiting the number of people entering a particular trailhead on a given day. This system is designed to help reduce impacts to natural resources and avoid overcrowding. Of each daily quota assigned for a trailhead, 50 percent can be reserved ahead of time, while the remaining 50 percent is available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Bridgeport Ranger District office. 

The quota system is based on when and where visitors begin their hike. For this reason (even with multiday permits), a trip cannot start on any day except the entry day specified on the permit. The permit is also only valid for the entry trailhead specified.

The following quotas are in place on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest portion of the Hoover Wilderness starting June 15 through October 15.

Trailhead Code Total Quota Reserved Quota Walk-in Quota Stock Animal
Buckeye Creek HH068 20 10 10 25
Greek Creek HH081 40 20 20 25
Horse Creek HH016 8 4 4 25
Leavitt Meadows HH046 100 50 50 25
Little Slide Canyon HH077 8 4 4 25
Robinsone Creek HH077 50 25 25 25
Virginia Lakes HH081 20 10 10 25

 

Advanced Reservation Wilderness Permits

Advanced Reservation Wilderness Permits MUST be purchased online at Recreation.gov under “Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest – Wilderness Permits” and can be...

  • Reserved six months in advance of the desired entry date. Available to print within seven days of the entry date. 
  • There is a $6 non-refundable service fee and a $3 per person recreation fee, payable by credit card.

Please remember that trip leaders are responsible for printing the permit and maintaining a signed hard copy in their possession for the duration of the trip

Reservations cannot be sold or transferred. The National Interagency Passes are not accepted for wilderness permits. There are also no senior or military discounts. Also, reservations for up to three different trips into the Hoover Wilderness during quota season can be reserved at any one time on Recreation.gov.

* Wilderness permit recreation fee revenue supports the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest’s Bridgeport Ranger District Recreation Program. Ninety-five percent of the recreation fees collected stay on the District. Those funds go into maintaining trail facilities, trail improvements, and visitor services. The $6 non-refundable service fee supports the web-based reservation system and permit database. This fee is incurred whether reserving online or obtaining a walk-in permit in person at the Bridgeport Ranger District. The $3 per person recreation fee is only for online reservations. 

Cancellation Policy

Online reservations MUST be cancelled 14 days before entry day to receive a full refund of the recreation fee (reservation fee is non-refundable).

Change Policy

Changes to group size (if quota space is available), itinerary, exit date, or exit location can be made online through Recreation.gov account or when the permit is issued. A new reservation is required if there are changes to entry trail, entry date, or permit type. Also, Group leader or alternate leader names cannot be changed or added once reservation is made.

What Can and Cannot be Changed

 Can Change:

 Cannot Change:

 Group Size (if quota space is   available)

 Entry Trail

 Itinerary

 Entry Date 

 Exit date

 Permit Type

 Exit location

 Leader or Alternate  Leader

 

Late Reservation Wilderness Permits

Late Reservation Wilderness Permits MUST be purchased online at Recreation.gov under “Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest – Wilderness Permits” and can be...

  • Purchased within three days of the entry date.  Available to print immediately. 
  • There is a $6 non-refundable service fee to input reservation into Recreation.gov.

Please remember that trip leaders are responsible for printing the permit and maintaining a signed hard copy in their possession for the duration of the trip.

Reservations cannot be sold or transferred. The National Interagency Passes are not accepted for wilderness permits. There are also no senior or military discounts. Also, reservations for up to three different trips into the Hoover Wilderness during quota season can be reserved at any one time on Recreation.gov.

* Wilderness permit recreation fee revenue supports the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest’s Bridgeport Ranger District Recreation Program. Ninety-five percent of the recreation fees collected stay on the District. Those funds go into maintaining trail facilities, trail improvements, and visitor services. The $6 non-refundable service fee supports the web-based reservation system and permit database. This fee is incurred whether reserving online or obtaining a walk-in permit in person at the Bridgeport Ranger District.

 

Group Size

Group size limits and trail quotas work together to help not only to protect the wilderness area’s natural resources, but solitude as well. During the non-quota period, only the following group sizes is allowed in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest portion of the Hoover Wilderness.

  • Maximum Group Size: 15 people and 25 head of stock animals are allowed on day use or overnight trips.
  • Sawtooth Ridge Zone Maximum Group Size: 8 people and no stock animals are allowed on day use or overnight trips. *The Sawtooth Ridge Zone is located in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest portion of the Hoover Wilderness.

If the trip continues into the Yosemite National Park or Inyo and Stanislaus National Forests, it is important to know group size limits for those areas…

If the trip continues into Yosemite National Park, Inyo National Forest, or Stanislaus National Forests, a separate wilderness permit is not needed (with exceptions). Take some time to review wilderness permit regulations for each area, including group size limits, food storage, pets, camping, and campfire requirements. All rules must be followed while there.

 

Keep in Mind

  • A signed permits must be in the group leader’s possession.
  • Group size cannot exceed the one stated on the permit.
  • There is no age limit, however children count for total group size.
  • Stay limits cannot exceed the area being visited.
  • Permit expires after exit date.
  • A permit is only valid for continuous wilderness travel. Exiting the wilderness and reentering at a different location voids the permit
  • Everyone in the group must start on the entry date and location on the permit.
  • If part of a group enters on a different date or trail to meet up with another group in the backcountry, they must have their own permit and fit into the quota for their entry date and trail.
  • Groups on separate permits cannot combine, hike, or camp together if the total number of people would exceed the maximum group size limit.