Due to COVID-19, fires, snow, or others reasons, it is a good idea to always check the land agency web site before visiting any park, forest, or other government land agency as the information below may not be up-to-date.
This web page provides internet links or URLs to wilderness pages of National Forests and Parks in the Sierra Nevada:
- Most require permits for overnight entry into wilderness areas.
- Some have special food storage requirements (e.g., bear caniste Disable rich-text rs or equivalent).
- Links/URLs below last checked 6/23/19.
Every Kid Outdoors Annual Pass
Fourth grade students can obtain a pass providing free entry into national parks and other federal public lands through the following August. The pass provides free admission for fourth graders and their families. (The pass does not cover camping or other special fees.) Why fourth graders? Research shows that kids ages nine to 11 are beginning to learn about the world around them. They’re open to new ideas, and they are likely to connect to nature and our history. For more info, click HERE. For 2020-21 fifth-graders, see note under National Parks below.
ROAD CLOSURES - Info is usually on the Alerts & Notices page (sometimes at bottom of page)
Eldorado - http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/eldorado/recreation/wild/
- Alerts & Notices - http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/eldorado/alerts-notices
- Maps & Publications - http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/eldorado/maps-pubs
- Passes & Permits - http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/eldorado/passes-permits/recreation
Humboldt-Toiyabe - http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/htnf/recreation/wilderness/index.shtml
- Alerts & Notices - http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/htnf/alerts-notices
- Food Storage - http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5245112.pdf
- Maps - http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/htnf/home/?cid=stelprdb5238492
- Maps & Publications - http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/htnf/maps-pubs
- (Bear canisters are REQUIRED in the Hoover as of April 2012.)
- Alerts & Notices - http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/inyo/alerts-notices
- Passes & Permits - http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/inyo/passes-permits
- Wilderness Permits - http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/inyo/passes-permits/recreation
- Mount Whitney Trail (same URL as Wilderness Permits above)
- Maps & Publications - http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/inyo/maps-pubs
Sequoia - http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sequoia/recreation/wilderness.html
- Alerts & Notices - http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/sequoia/alerts-notices
- Passes & Permits - http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/sequoia/passes-permits
- Maps & Publications - http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/sequoia/maps-pubs
Sierra - http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sierra/recreation/wilderness/index.shtml
- Alerts & Notices - http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/sierra/alerts-notices
- Passes & Permits - http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/sierra/passes-permits
- Maps & Publications - http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/sierra/maps-pubs
- Alerts & Notices - http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/stanislaus/alerts-notices
- Passes & Permits - http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/stanislaus/passes-permits
- Maps & Publications - http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/stanislaus/maps-pubs
Tahoe - http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/tahoe/passes_permits/index.shtml
- Alerts & Notices - http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/tahoe/alerts-notices
- Passes & Permits- http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/tahoe/passes-permits
- Maps & Publications - http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/tahoe/maps-pubs
Wilderness Permits are not required in the Granite Chief Wilderness, the only Wilderness in the Tahoe National Forest.
National Park 2019 Fee-Free Days
2019 info: Normally, approximately 100 of the 400 national parks charge an entrance fee.
For 2021, the National Park Service has announced that the following dates will be entrance fee-free days: For more info on fee-free days (or special discounts for veterans, Gold Star Families, or fourth- or fifth-graders, go to: https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1207/12-03-20-fee-free-days-2021.htm
Free Entrance Days in the National Parks
January 18: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr
April 17: First day of National Park Week
August 4: One year anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
August 25: National Park Service Birthday
September 25: National Public Lands Day
November 11: Veterans Day
For info on any national park, go to https://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm
- Permits & Reservations - https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/permitsandreservations.htm
- Backpack Wilderness Permits - https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildpermits.htm
- Day Hike Permits (Half Dome only – Lottery) - https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdpermits.htm
- Food Storage - https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/bears.htm
Yosemite Road Construction - 2022
Road, sewer, etc. repair will result in a number of closures during 2022 including: (1) Glacier Point Road closed during 2022. (2) Wawona Road will experience delays due to lane closures. (3) Tioga Pass will have delays (up to 60 minutes at night and 30 minutes daytime, from 11 pm Sunday thru 4:30 pm Friday) at a number of locations between Olmstead Point and Tioga Pass. For more up-to-date info and changes, check the Yosemite web site at https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/roadwork.htm
Fall 2022 Road & Trail Closures, etc.
Normal traffic pattern to resume in Yosemite Valley: Beginning Tuesday, October 11, 2022, crews will remove traffic barriers from roadways and restore two-way travel between Yosemite Village and Yosemite Valley Lodge. Sentinel Drive will be closed for the day starting at 8:00 am on October 11 to allow safe removal and transport of the barriers. Pavement re-striping and traffic control sign replacement will occur on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 11 and 12. Please drive carefully and watch for laborers and equipment on valley roads.
Mist Trail repair: The lower Mist Trail from the John Muir Trail (JMT) junction to the top of Vernal Fall will be closed as follows. The trail will remain open on weekends.
Monday through Thursday: October 3-6
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: October 11, 13, 14
Monday through Friday: October 17-28
Monday through Wednesday: October 31 - November 2
Merced Grove trail closure: The Merced Grove Trail from Big Oak Flat to the giant sequoia grove remains closed until further notice. This temporary closure is needed to safely remove hazardous fuels surrounding the giant sequoias. High-severity fires have killed nearly 20% of all giant sequoias in the past two years in the southern part of the tree's native range. This closure is the first step in a prescribed fire project that will provide protection for the giant sequoias from future high-severity fire. It will also promote sequoia seedling germination.
Ostrander Ski Hut 2023 Update - Ostrander Ski Hut will be opening for the 2022-2023 winter season! We anticipate that the Hut will be open from December 23, 2022 to April 1, 2023. Reservations will become available online at 9 am Pacific Time on November 16, 2022 at the link below. The cost to reserve is $50 per person, per night. Yosemite Conservancy donors are eligible for a reduced rate during certain periods. The ski hut is approximately 10 miles from Badger Pass, and all routes require considerable stamina and cross-country skiing experience. It is not recommended for novice skiers.
- Maps - https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/maps.htm
- Permits & Reservations - https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/permits.htm
- Backpack Wilderness Permits - https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/wilderness_permits.htm
- Day Hike permits are required only for the Mt. Whitney area (same link as above)
- Food Storage - https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/bear_bc.htm
3/25/20 - Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park may be closed - The Park has modified operations at the request of the local health department. Go to any of the above links to determine current status of possible closure.
9/7/20 - M - Wildfire Closure Updates for Wilderness Permit and Reservation Holders Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. As of 5:00 pm today, Monday September 7, the Inyo, Sierra, and Sequoia National Forests will be closed to all public access as part of a region-wide closure due to unprecedented and dangerous fire conditions. If you have planned to enter or exit the backcountry via the Inyo, Sierra, or Sequoia National Forests you will need to update your itinerary to enter and exit via the National Park. The Inyo National Forest is expected to be closed for at least one week. Gates to Inyo and Sierra National Forest roads will be closing. Vehicles behind locked gates will be able to exit closed areas periodically with the assistance of local law enforcement. Due to hazards associated with the Rattlesnake Fire and SQF Complex Fire, the parks have closed portions of the Kern River drainage to all travel. This closure will likely expand as these fires continue to grow so please check the links below frequently for the latest conditions. Unless you are notified otherwise, your permit or reservation has not been cancelled and you may still access areas outside of closure areas. This is a dynamic and quickly changing situation. Air quality continues to be unhealthy or hazardous due to wildfire smoke. Prior to beginning your trip we encourage you to check the latest air quality and area closures and adjust your plans to provide adequate health and safety for all members of your group:
If you have questions that are not answered by the linked resources, you may contact the wilderness office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 559-565-3766.
End of Fire Closure Notice
2/10/18 (last update) - The National Park Service (NPS) is initiating public scoping on a proposal to replace a dilapidated wilderness visitor contact station (ranger station) located at the Bearpaw High Sierra Camp in Sequoia National Park. The current ranger station serves as a base for wilderness operations and management along the High Sierra Trail. Bearpaw High Sierra Camp is a concessioner-operated overnight camp within a designated potential wilderness addition. If approved, the project would take place in early fall of 2018, after the Bearpaw High Sierra Camp has closed for the season.
This project is designed to replace a failing structure with one that is more sustainable and compatible with the period of significance for the Bearpaw High Sierra Camp Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 21, 2016. The current ranger station, a 480 square foot ‘A-frame’ would be deconstructed and removed from the park with materials being recycled to the extent practicable. The current cabin has been determined to be a non-contributing structure in the Determination of Eligibility for the Bearpaw High Sierra Camp Historic District.
The proposed new ranger station would be constructed of traditional log walls with a 12/12 pitched conventional roof, in order to blend in with other historical structures in the area, and be designed to be animal proof and low maintenance with secure and adequate storage. The project would include built-in storage cabinets to accommodate equipment and necessary supplies for ranger activities. Solar panels, wiring, battery, inverter, and two lamps would be replaced as part of project.
Replacement would involve offsite construction of the ranger station walls and roof. The ranger station would be disassembled, then transported via stock and/or helicopter to the project site at Bearpaw. Park staff would then reassemble the cabin onsite on the same foundation that supported the previous ranger station.
This project is part of the implementation of the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Wilderness Stewardship Plan, approved in 2015. The High Sierra Camp is most commonly accessed via the popular High Sierra Trail and is 11 miles from the trailhead at Crescent Meadow.
Sequoia National Park is interested in any public concerns, potential issues, or opportunities related to this proposed project. After analyzing comments received during scoping, the park will determine the level of analysis needed.
To obtain supplemental information about the proposed project, please visit the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/SEKI_Bearpaw
If you have any specific questions regarding this proposal, please contact Nancy Hendricks, Environmental Protection Specialist, at (559) 565-3102.
All written comments about this project must be transmitted, postmarked, or hand-delivered by February 10, 2018.
Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment - including your personal identifying information - may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
To respond electronically, comments may be submitted via the PEPC website at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/SEKI_Bearpaw
Written comments may be sent via mail or hand-deliver to:
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Attn: Bearpaw Visitor Contact Station Project
47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers, CA 93271
Written comments may also be faxed to (559) 565-4202.
US Forest Service (usda.gov) | https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/gaoa - Latest News: USDA Announces $218 Million Investment in Land and Water Conservation.
5/21/21The Great American Outdoors Act secures $900 million in permanent funding each year for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. LWCF programs are managed by the Departments of Agriculture and Interior. The Forest Service administers two LWCF programs – the Forest Legacy Program and the Land Acquisition program – that together conserve critical and strategic lands across the nation’s forests and grasslands. Forest Service LWCF projects enhance recreational access to existing public lands, conserve working timberlands vital for local economies, and protect critical watersheds. For more info, check the above link.
Temporary Closure of 49 Palms Hiking Trail in Joshua Tree National Park - Beginning Monday June 14, 2021 Joshua Tree National Park managers will close the 49 Palms Trail to allow bighorn sheep undisturbed access to surface water. The park is under extreme drought conditions and herds in the area are increasingly reliant on the oasis spring to survive the hot summer months. The closure will remain in place until summer monsoons provide adequate rainfall to increase water availability. Park wildlife biologists will be monitoring the situation closely. For more info, go to https://www.nps.gov/jotr/learn/news/temporary-closure-of-49-palms-hiking-trail-in-joshua-tree-national-park.htm - Update May 2022: The above notice is still on the nps.gov/jotr web site at the above URL.