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Forest and Wilderness Permits

Introduction to permit requirements

Regulations vary from forest to forest with respect to the requirement for permits on national forest lands. In general, day use on non-Wilderness lands does not require a permit. But this rule may not be absolute. All national forests require permits for overnight camping trips. Usually this is a simple fire permit. Contact the forest you will be visiting if you are in doubt. The USDA Forest Service welcome page provides links to all national forests.

Some designated Wilderness areas, such as Desolation Wilderness, require a permit for day use as well as overnight camping even in winter. Use the USDA Forest Service welcome page to link to the forest where the Wilderness is located to get more information.

Desolation Wilderness

Desolation Wilderness requires a permit for day use as well as overnight camping both summer and winter. If you are skiing in the Echo Lakes area you should be aware that the Wilderness begins approximately one-half mile west of Upper Echo Lake.

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