Passes & Permits
Local passes and permits related to recreating on the forest include wilderness permits, annual day passes, CA SNO-PARK permits, and National Interagency Passes.
National Forest System lands in the Lake Tahoe Basin are under year-round fire restrictions. Wood and charcoal fires are only permitted within metal fire rings in developed campgrounds.
Desolation Wildernesses encompasses 63,960 acres of alpine forest, glacially-formed valleys and lakes. Travel is by foot or horseback as no vehicles are allowed. Wood or charcoal fires are not permitted.
Certain types of uses of public lands require "Special Use Authorizations". These include commercial activities, such as filming, guiding, and events.
Collecting and removing forest products requires a permit. Forest products include items such as, firewood, christmas trees, edible or decorative material, minerals and plants.
An outdoor wedding ceremony may be held in certain places on National Forest System lands in the Lake Tahoe Basin under the operations of specified wedding service providers.
The Forest Service waives recreation fees at most day-use sites on lands managed by the agency. Participation by concession-operated sites may vary. In the Lake Tahoe Basin, the fee-free day applies to Eagle Falls Picnic Area and Trailhead. The 2024 dates are:
Season beach passes for National Forest beaches around Lake Tahoe are available for purchase in person at the following beaches and campgrounds: Baldwin Beach, Fallen Leaf Campground, Nevada Beach Campground, and Pope Beach.