Many areas within the Sierra Nevada Require some sort of recreation permit. These requirements vary based upon managements agency, so it is always best to contact the agency that manages the specific area you plan on visiting.
In general, dispersed camping is allowed within National Forest land however, fire permits are required if you intend on having a campfire or using a camping stove (fire permits can be obtained at any Forest Service station, are annual, and are free). If you plan on staying within a campground, these permits are not required.
In the backcountry wilderness permits are generally required for overnight stays. With the exception of the Mt. Whitney area, permits are not required for day hikes. Permits can be obtained for your point of entry by the management agency that regulates that area. Many points of entry have a limited number of permits that are issued per day, and this quota is regulated during the summer months. A certain percentage of this quota can be reserved, whereas the rest are on a first-come/first-serve basis.
Users are expected to practice leave no trace ethics. In addition, users are required to abide by local restrictions and guidelines. Contact the agency in charge of your point of entry for more information.
+ To discuss this article, visit The
High Sierra Topix forums.