Wilderness permits are required year-round for all overnight trips in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks' wilderness.
For information about other changes and the availability of services in the parks, please visit our current conditions page.
Obtaining a wilderness permit during the 2020 quota season:
Step 1: Decide where and when to go
Advanced reservations are required for all wilderness permits during the 2020 quota season; no walk-up permits will be issued. The Lakes Trail is available for reservations. Make sure that there are reservations available on the date that you wish to start your trip by checking the Trailhead Availability page.
Step 2: Apply for a reservation
Submit a Wilderness Permit Application at least 2 weeks in advance of your desired entry date.
First download, and then fill out the Wilderness Permit Application. Attach the completed form (pdf or image file) to an email addressed to email@example.com.
When submitting an application keep the following in mind:
Faxed applications are no longer accepted; e-mail and U.S. mail are the only accepted methods for application.
Applications may be mailed to this address:
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Wilderness Office #60
Step 3: Pay the recreation fee online
If you are successful in getting a reservation, we will email you a confirmation letter with a link to our pay.gov payment form; reservations will be cancelled if payment is not made within 10 days of the confirmation email being sent. Wilderness permits cost $10 plus $5 per person within the quota season. In the e-mail you will be given a Permit ID number that you will use to pay for your reservation. Do not copy and paste this number, you must type it in with no spaces for it to work. The fee is non-refundable, non-transferable, not for use in future years, and is not for re-sale. Technical issues with the pay.gov website should be directed to the pay.gov helpdesk.
Step 4: Speak with a ranger to obtain your permit by email
Your reservation confirmation letter is not a wilderness permit and cannot be used for overnight travel.
The week before your trip, a ranger will contact you by phone at the number provided on your reservation application. Plan to spend up to 20 minutes to provide your itinerary, verify fee payment, and receive an orientation. During the orientation, rangers will review the parks’ Minimum Impact Requirements, provide updated trail conditions, discuss safety issues, and answer any other questions you may have.
Following the orientation, you will be emailed the completed wilderness permit. Print the permit and carry it with you on your wilderness trip. If you will be travling before your trip and not avaible the week prior please call or email the wilderness office to make arrangements.
To have a fair process for allocating space that has become available due to cancellations, party size reductions, and not issuing walk up permits we are asking existing reservation holders to submit changes (to dates, party size, or trailhead) by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your current reservation number and the change that you would like to make.
Starting your trip outside of the parks?
If you will be entering Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks but starting your trip outside of the parks (i.e. surrounding Forest Service lands) you can obtain your permit for your entire itinerary from the agency where your trip begins. To hike Mount Whitney from the east side of the Sierra Nevada, visit Inyo National Forest's website or call them at (760) 873-2483. To plan a long distance hike for 500 miles or more that goes through the parks, find more information from the Pacific Crest Trail Association.
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Last updated: June 19, 2020