Desolation Wilderness

Wilderness Area


Safety Information

Campfires are prohibited in Desolation Wilderness to reduce human-caused fires, impacts to vegetation from firewood collection, and to reduce the visual impacts of fire rings and surface scarring. Your wilderness permit also serves as your campfire permit for your gas camp stove while visiting the Desolation Wilderness.

Travel is restricted to foot or horseback only. All means of mechanical transportation, including bicycles, carts, and snowmobiles, are prohibited in the wilderness. Wheelchairs are allowed. Stay on trails and do not shortcut switchbacks or create parallel ruts by walking alongside the trail.

Visitors are required to bury human waste 6 to 8 inches deep and at least 200 feet away from water, trails and campsites. Toilet paper must be buried or packed out. Garbage must be packed out.

Maximum group size is 12 people for both day and overnight use.

Domestic pets are allowed in the Desolation Wilderness at this time. You are responsible for their actions as well as their welfare. Pets are required to be leashed and you must clean up after them. Dogs can disturb other campers, get in fights with other dogs along the trail, and scare wildlife away. The El Dorado County leash laws are enforced inside the Wilderness boundary as dogs off leash can be an impediment and/or hazard to the safety of hikers, and to prevent dogs from harassing or molesting wildlife.

Livestock is limited to two livestock per person, or 12 livestock in one group. Do not hitch, tether, or hobble a horse or other saddle or pack animal within 200 feet of a water source or within 100 feet of a campsite.