|| Zone Quotas
|| Zone Map
|| Use Permits
Desolation Wilderness Area ─ Zone Quotas
Because of its beauty and accessibility, Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used wilderness areas in the United States. In order to protect its unique beauty and wilderness character, human access is limited and certain activities are restricted in the Desolation. There is a quota on overnight use from the Friday before Memorial Day through September 30 of each year. The overnight quota is based upon the number of people entering the wilderness each day, and their first night's destination zone. Visitors must choose a first night destination (see zone map in list to right). There are 45 zones which may be accessed by any of 15 trailhead entry points.
You must enter on the date specified on your permit and must spend your first night in the zone which you have chosen. The rest of your stay is not subject to zone requirements and you can change locations for the remainder of your trip.
> 50% of the quota is available by Reservation. Reservations start on April 15, 2004 for the entire quota season. The Information Center is permanently closed. Reservations and permits are now handled by the Pacific Ranger District.
> 50% of the quota is available first-come, first-serve the day of entry and may not be reserved ahead of time.
> Note: Some zones have small quotas, as few as two people, so check the list below to determine if your destination allows enough people for your party size.
During the off-quota season there is no limit to the number of overnight users in each zone. Permits must be obtained in person at offices which issue Desolation Wilderness permits.
MORE ABOUT DESOLATION WILDERNESS
|| Desolation Critters ─ Desolation Wilderness provides visitors with the opportunity to witness a diverse population of wildlife.
|| Desolation Geology ─ The granitic mountains of the Desolation are part of the massive Sierra batholith, the combined masses of granitic rock that have been uplifted by tectonic action to form the 400 mile long Sierra Nevada range.
|| Desolation History ─ The area now known as Desolation Wilderness has a long history of use by both Native Americans and European settlers.
|| Desolation Plant Life ─ As much of the ground surface in Desolation is bedrock granite, soils are limited. Plant life, however, has adapted and the flora is diverse.