Wilderness Permits

WILDERNESS ETHICS

Leave No Trace Brochure (pdf 40k)

  • Plan ahead and prepare.
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  • Dispose of waste properly.
  • Leave what you find.
  • Minimize campfire impacts.
  • Respect wildlife.
  • Be considerate.
  • Pack animal considerations.

Provided by:
Swirling logo for Leave No Trace at lnt.org

WILDERNESS RESOURCES

WILDERNESS PERMIT APPLICATION PAGE

Wilderness permits are required only for overnight stay in the Golden Trout Wilderness on the Sequoia National Forest. Permits help the Forest Service to manage wilderness by tracking visitor use patterns. In some areas visitor quotas and trailhead quotas are in effect to protect the wildernesses from visitor impact and overuse. Wilderness permits are issued to anyone who will follow certain rules intended to protect both the visitor and the wilderness resource.

Do I need a Wilderness permit?

The Golden Trout Wilderness is the only wilderness in the Sequoia National Forest that requires a permit for overnight stays. Permits are not required for day use in any wilderness within Sequoia National Forest.

How much do Wilderness permits cost?

Wilderness permits are free when departing from trailheads in Sequoia National Forest.

2022 Golden Trout Wilderness Permits 

Under current circumstances with COVID-19, visitor services personnel in Sequoia National Forest will continue issuing wilderness permits virtually through email. Please follow the steps below to obtain your permit at least 30 days prior to travel. Permits will also be issued in person where available, call ahead to make an appointment.  

  1. Print and completely fill out the Application for a Wilderness Visitor's Permit 

  2. Plan your trip accordingly - The North Road (21S50) will be closed for the 2022 season under a Forest Closure Order. Trailhead closures include Summit, Clicks Creek, and Lewis Camp Trailheads.  Foot traffic will not be permitted through the closed area for public safety. Work is ongoing to remove fire killed trees along the roadway that pose an immediate hazard. The area should reopen in 2023.

  3. Scan and email your completed application to the Sequoia National Forest to SM.FS.SequoiaNF@usda.gov  (monitored Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm.)

  4. Within a week, you will receive a response to your email, confirming receipt of your application. 

    Your hard copy application will then take the place of your permit for overnight stay in the Golden Trout Wilderness in the Sequoia National Forest. 

    Keep a copy with you and share the information with someone at home to anticipate your safe return. The Forest Service will keep an electronic copy of your application on file in case of emergency and for our records. It is your responsibility to monitor conditions and fire restrictions and provide for your own safety. Current road conditions and fire restrictions will be posted on this website throughout the summer.

Both Sequoia National Park and Inyo National Forest are issuing wilderness permits through  www.recreation.gov  the same reservation system used by most federal agencies for visitors to obtain campground reservations.

In Sequoia National Park, reservations for wilderness permits can be made for trip dates beginning up to 6 months in advance and will continue to be reservable up to 1 week prior to the start of the trip. A limited number of first-come, first-served permits will be available daily at select permit issuing stations in Cedar Grove, Grant Grove, Lodgepole, the Foothills, and Mineral King. For additional information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/wilderness_permits.htm

Inyo National Forest Wilderness permits are available on recreation.gov. On their home page search "Inyo National Forest - Wilderness Permits" to find a list of trails, or search "Mt Whitney" to find Mt Whitney Trail day-use and overnight-use permits. For more information, call Inyo National Forest (760) 873-2483 Open daily 8 am to 4:30 pm. (closed for lunch) May 15 through Oct 15. During winter months, closed on weekends and holidays. https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/inyo/passes-permits/recreation

Campfires

In areas where campfires are allowed, you will need a valid Campfire Permit during the fire season when fire and stove use may be restricted. It is your responsibility to check on the current regulations at any Forest Service office or National Park office.

Please go to http://www.preventwildfireca.org/ to get your California Campfire Permit.