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Inyo National Forest- Backcountry Permits

In Inyo National Forest, most trails can be reserved 6 months in advance. However, a lottery is held for the most popular Mt. Whitney permits. Reservations can be made until two days before the trip if space is still available. Space from canceled reservations is returned to the reservation calendar within 24 hours (at a random time). One day before the entry date any remaining space is made available for walk in permit requests. No online or phone orders for walk in permits.

Trailheads encompassed in Inyo National Forest Wilderness Permits: Baxter Pass (JMT), Beck Lake, Big Pine Creek North Fork, Big Pine Creek South Fork, Bishop Pass (JMT), Convict Creek, Cottonwood Lakes Cottonwood Pass (PCT), Deer Lakes, Duck Pass (JMT), Fern Lake, Fish Creek, Gable Lakes, George Creek - Mt. Williamson George Lake, Gibbs Lake, Glacier Canyon, Golden Trout Lakes (Onion Valley), Haiwee Pass (PCT), High Trail –PCT (JMT), Hilton Lakes, Horton Lakes, Italy Pass (Pine Creek), John Muir Trail North of Devils Postpile (JMT), John Muir Trail South of Devils Postpile (JMT), Kearsarge Pass (JMT), Kennedy Meadows South (PCT) Lakes Canyon, Lamarck Lakes, Laurel Lakes, Little Lakes Valley, Lundy Canyon, Mt. Whitney Zone (Day Use- any route, Mt. Whitney Trail (Overnight) (JMT), Mt Whitney -Trail Crest Exit (reserve with entry trail), McGee Pass, Meysan Lake, Minaret Lake, Mono Pass (JMT) (Rock Creek), North Fork Lone Pine Creek, Olancha Pass (PCT), Parker Lake, Pine Creek Pass (JMT)m, Piute Pass (North Lake) (JMT), Red Cones - Mammoth Pass (JMT), Red Lake (Split Mt), River Trail (JMT) (Agnew Meadow), Rush Creek (JMT) (Silver Lake), Sabrina Lake, Saddlebag Lake, Sawmill Pass (JMT), Shadow Creek (JMT) (Agnew Meadow), Shepherd Pass (JMT), Taboose Pass (JMT), Tamarack Lakes, Trail Pass, Treasure Lakes - South Lake, Tuttle Creek, Tyee Lakes, Upper Buttermilk, Valentine Lake, Warren Fork, Wildrose, Yost and Fern Lake (June Lake) 

When do I need a wilderness permit in Inyo National Forest:

  • Specific trail quotas apply from May 1 to November 1 for most areas.
  • All overnight /multi-night trips in the Ansel Adams, John Muir, Hoover, or Golden Trout wilderness or that start in Inyo National Forest and will travel in Yosemite, Sequoia or Kings Canyon Wilderness require a wilderness permit.

Group size limits apply year round:

  • Groups are limited to fifteen (15) people in most wilderness areas.
  • Some areas of Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks limit the group size to eight (8) to twelve (12) depending on the area you will visit. 
  • Groups on separate permits cannot combine if the total number of people will exceed the group size limit.

Information about your permit:

  • Reservations cannot be transferred.
  • Pick up your permit when you arrive, instructions are in confirmation letter.
  • Only the group leader or listed alternate leader can pick up or use the permit.
  • Confirm your group size or pick up your permit by 10 am on the entry date or the reservation will be canceled as a No Show. Please confirm group size one or two weeks before your trip to hold the reservation for late arrival.
  • No refunds for transactions completed less than 22 days before the entry date.

Inyo National Forest wilderness permit office phone line (760) 873-2483 is open 8:00 am to 4:30 pm daily in summer. 

Transaction fee: $10 per group, nonrefundable

Permit fee: $5 per person if you are not entering Whitney Zone; $15 per person if you are entering the whitney zone

Earlier Event: January 1
The Wave