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Wilderness Areas 5


“A Wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain… an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence… protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions.”,  Wilderness Act of 1964 – Section 2(c)


The goal of the Sierra National Forest is to preserve and maintain the beauty and nature of all the wilderness areas within the forest. To do this we ask all the people that plan to spend various nights in the wilderness to obtain a wilderness permit.


Important Links 

Wilderness Permit Reservation

Wilderness Permit Q&A

Pets in the Wilderness 


Things to Remember

Trailhead Quota

Wilderness Areas

Wilderness Campfires Information

Drone use in the Wilderness


Wilderness Permit Issuing Offices  

How to Leave No Trace

For More Information


Peter Pande 2015



In 1964, the U.S. Congress approved the permanent protection of our most pristine lands for public enjoyment and preservation with the creation of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Over fifty years later, over 109,500,000 acres of public land in the United States has received this highest level of protection in 762 individual wildernesses, including 1.3 million acres in the Sierra National Forest.

Ansel Adams Wilderness
“The Eastern section of the Wilderness has large lakes in high open country with trails over glaciated granite, exposed passes as Island, Gem, Agnew and Parker offering panoramic vistas. The deep trough of the North Fork of the San Joaquin River cuts through the center of the forest beyond the Ritter Range and further west below the Merced-San Joaquin Divide. There are more beautiful lakes in this region than anyone can fish in a season. The country south of the Middle Fork is a great vast forested Wilderness with some lakes, many lovely meadows inhabited by numerous types of animals and birds. Here there are no dramatic crests to scale. The duff trails pass alternately from dense forest to flowered meadows in an elevation averaging from 6500’ to 8000’” (Ansel Adams Wilderness, Ginny Clark, pg. 13)

John Muir Wilderness
Different from the John Muir trail, the wilderness is filled with scenic views that lay in the southern east part of the Sierra National Forest. The wilderness holds plenty of beautiful places where family’s, beginners, and experienced hikers like to travel to and spend a night. The majority of the public like to travel to Lake Thomas Edison or Florance Lake within the wilderness to when hiking.

Dinkey Wilderness
 The California Wilderness Act of 1984 created the 30,000 acre Dinkey Lakes Wilderness. Dinkey Lakes lies immediately west of the John Muir Wilderness (the portion added in 1984) and is separated from the John Muir by the Dusy-Ershim off-highway vehicle route.
Most of the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness consists of timbered rolling terrain. Sixteen lakes are clustered in the west central region. Most of the wilderness is above 9,000 feet at the highest point Three Sisters Peak is 10, 619 feet in elevation. Large meadows can be found in the north central region of the wilderness and along Helms Creek.

Kaiser Wilderness
The Kaiser Wilderness was established in 1976 and covers a total of 22,700 acres. It is located immediately north of Huntington Lake, approximately 70 miles northeast of Fresno. The wilderness was named after Kaiser Ridge, which divides the area into two distinctly different regions. A hike to Kaiser Ridge or Kaiser Peak provides a commanding view of much of the central Sierra Nevada mountain range.