Permits & Fees
Depending on what area you plan on visiting, there may be some sort of permit and fee associated with that area. The goal of this page is to provide as much information about the permit process in and around Mono County, but it is always good to talk to someone over the phone for confirmation or if you have any specific questions. This way, you will be prepared for a wonderful trip in the Eastern Sierra!
Whether you are looking for information on reservations, permit pick-up information or locations, or how to cancel a permit reservation, this page has it all.
Information on fees for Forest Service and National Park Service
Fees for Forest Service are as follows;
Transaction fee of $6/ group
Entering Mt. Whitney Zone is $15/ person
Not entering Mt. Whitney Zone is $5/ person
Permit Reservations- Where do I start...?
TIP: It is best to have prepared with more than one possible choice of trail and itinerary information for your desired trip, as some permits may not be available. Make sure to have several different options in mind before starting the permitting process.
All Forest Service Trails: Most trails can be reserved 6 or more months in advance and can be made until 2 days before the trip if space allows. Any other times or circumstances are made available for walk in permit requests and cannot be done via phone or the internet.
To make reservations ahead of time online, please visit www.recreation.gov
Permit Pick Up
The group leader or alternate leader must pick up the wilderness permit and carry the permit with them during their trip. Permits for trips starting in Inyo National Forest area are issued at four locations. Trips beginning in the Mt. Whitney Zone must be issued at the Eastern Sierra InterAgency Visitor Center. For more specific information on Mt. Whitney permits, regulations and hikes, click HERE.
Walk-In Permit Pick-up: The person requesting the permit must be going on the trip and must be in the person at the visitor center. Walk in permits cannot be held by phone or web.
Reserved permits Pick-up: The group leader must pick up the physical permit and carry it with them during the entire trip. A reservation email is not valid proof of permit.
The permit pick up locations are:
Bridgeport Ranger Station US 395, 1 mile south of Bridgeport in Bridgeport CA, 93517. (760) 932-7070
Eastern Sierra InterAgency Visitor Center Junction of Highway 395 and State Route 136, 2 miles south of Lone Pine, CA. #(760)876-6222 and/or 6200
Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center 2500 Main Street, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546. (760) 924-5500
White Mountain Ranger Station 798 N Main Street, Bishop, CA 93514. (760) 873-2500
Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center North of Lee Vining on Hwy 395, Lee Vining, CA 93541. (760) 647-3044
Have questions? Give the Forest Service Wilderness Permit Office at (760)-873-2483. Their phone line is open from 8am – 4:30pm and is open daily from May 15th- October 15th. Winter season they are closed on holidays and weekends and hours subject to change.
Wilderness Permit Office & Wilderness Information, 351 Pacu Lane Suite 200, Bishop, CA 93514. To visit their website, please click HERE.
Changes or cancellations- while some changes and/or cancellations can be made, there are no refunds for Mt. Whitney reservations. Other trails have a limited refund policy. For the entire list of rules, regulations, cancellations, and policies, please click HERE. If you would like more information on just the cancellation policies, follow this link.
For National Park Service permit fees and Yosemite information, http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildpermits.htm
Do I need a permit?
Yes. In areas that a permit is required, you must carry a permit that allows you to be in the area for either day use or overnight use. Consequences of not carrying a permit with you might result in serious fines and/or tickets from Forest Service, Park Service or local Law Enforcement.