Desolation Wilderness: Permits

  • Permits - Required year-round for both day and overnight use. Fees for overnight camping apply year-round.
  • Group size - Limited to 12 people.
  • Day-use - May obtain a free permit from one of the offices below, or may self-issue a permit at most major trailheads in the summer. Day-use is not subject to fees, nor limited by quota at any time of the year.
  • Quota - During the summer a quota is in effect on the number of people allowed into the wilderness. 70% of the quota is available for reservations and 30% is first-come, first served.  Refer to the Zone Quota page for more information.
  • Reservations - Visitors may now reserve overnight permits online by visiting  www.recreation.gov. Reservations may be made six months in advance.


Pick up permits for WEST side entry at the:

Pacific Ranger District
7887 Highway 50
Pollock Pines, CA 95726-9602
530-644-2349
California Relay: 711
Summer Schedule: Open Monday - Sunday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Memorial weekend through end of September.
Winter Schedule: Open Monday - Friday, starting end of September, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Pick up permit for EAST side entry at the:

Taylor Creek Visitor Center
Located three miles north of South Lake Tahoe on SR Highway 89 N.
530-543-2674
The visitor center is open daily beginning Memorial Day weekend through the month of October, hours may vary.

Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Forest Supervisor's Office
35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
530-543-2600
Weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., year-round.