Desolation Wilderness: Fees

Fee Schedule

Please be advised that all fees listed are subject to change without notice.

  • Overnight Wilderness Permit Fee: $5 per person for the first night and $10 per person for two or more nights up to 14 days (non-refundable).  Children 12 and under are free. Golden passes do not apply to personal use permits.
    • Pre-Paid Fee Card: You can pre-pay your permit fees by purchasing this card for $20.00. The card covers only the overnight permit fee and is valid for one year from date of purchase. You must still obtain a permit in person, subject to quota limits.
  • Parking Fee: Currently, only the Eagle Falls parking area on Highway 89 and the Pyramid Creek Parking area at Twin Bridges on Highway 50 have fees: $5 per vehicle per day. (This fee is waived for overnight permit holders. Be sure to obtain your parking pass, which exempts you from this fee when you pick up your overnight permit.)
    • Forest Parking Pass: A $20 Parking Pass is available and valid at the facilities listed below where a parking fee is required. This Pass is valid for one year from purchase date. Facilities include: Eagle Falls and Pyramid Creek trailheads, and Dru Barner Day Use Area year -round (as long as the facility is open). From May through October for Woods Lake, Carson Pass, and Meiss parking areas. (These are sno-parks during the winter.) Pass must be displayed in car window to be valid.
    • America the Beautiful passes do not apply to personal use permits or purchase of the fee card or parking pass.
  • Related Information: Tahoe Rim Trail hikers that are hiking the whole loop are required to have a permit and are subject to fees. As of May 30, the Basin has decided to not incorporate these permits into the quota as long as the use is minimal. Use will be monitored and if it becomes significant then they will be incorporated into the quota next season. Shorter hikes using the Desolation portion of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)/Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) are considered Desolation permits and are part of the quota.

 

How will fees be used?

  • The fees collected and retained under this pilot project would be used for the following projects and purposes:
  • Restoration of heavily impacted camping areas and lake basins.
  • Improving trail maintenance, including catching up on backlogged trail maintenance, and ensuring early logging-out of trails.
  • Maintaining and improving trailheads including signage, garbage, toilet and parking facilities.
  • Enhancing maintenance and protection of the wilderness through increased presence of wilderness rangers.
  • Enhancing the wilderness education program including hiring additional staff to provide "Leave No Trace" information to visitors at high use trailheads and visitor centers.

Fees collected are part of the 2004 Recreation Enhancement Act (REA). These revenues have helped to increase the level of wilderness ranger patrol, have contributed to an increase in trail maintenance, signage, site clean-up and restoration and have made possible other wilderness conservation and education projects.

Accomplishments - Your fees at work:

  • 2016 Accomplishment Report
    (PDF 222 KB)