Our Beautiful Forest
The San Bernardino National Forest is a jewel in Southern California. Please follow all rules and regulations to keep this forest pristine. If you have any questions please contact the Idyllwild U.S. Forest Service.
PREPARE: get PERMITS & know REGULATIONS
WILDERNESS PERMIT INFORMATION
What permits do I need for my trip?
1. Wilderness Visitor Permit: The Forest Service strongly recommends you obtain a Wilderness Permit before going into any of San Bernardino National Forest’s eight wilderness areas. The permit system benefits both you and the wilderness area by helping the Forest Service monitor visitor usage and environmental impacts. Overnight visitors who obtain a permit and pre-arrange a campsite will improve their experience by ensuring the greatest amount of solitude, and they will gather valuable information on trails, water availability, area closures, fire conditions and responsible recreation (i.e. Leave No Trace principles). Wilderness Permits also provide a record of visitors to the area, which enables the Forest Service to monitor whether all visitors return. This record has proven valuable in search-and-rescue operations for lost or injured hikers. If you choose not to obtain a Wilderness Permit, it is highly recommend you leave your itinerary with a friend or family member. Signs leading to wilderness areas may have outdated information about permit requirements, which the Forest Service is actively working to correct.
Permits can be reserved up to 3 months in advance. Help us in these efforts by picking up a free permit at the self service kiosk outside of the Forest Service Ranger Station in Idyllwild or request a permit in advance (allow 1 week notice). USFS permits are issued for groups up to 12 people; 8 stock per permit.
For more information, read "Why do I need a Wilderness Visitor Permit?"
NOTE: In order to prevent excessive impact on wildlife and wilderness resources, Devil's Slide Trail has a limit on the number of people admitted to the Wilderness on the peak summer weekends from the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
2. Adventure Pass: If you will be parking at Humber Park, Lake Hemet, Lake Fulmor or Fuller Mill Creek, you will need to pick up an Adventure Pass for your vehicle. You can either buy a day pass at the Forest Service Ranger Station in downtown Idyllwild for $5, or a year pass for $30 with a second car included for only an additional $5.
Need an overnight Permit?
Please use the Wilderness Visitor’s Permit Application and fax it to 951-659-2107.
Fire and other restrictions change on a seasonal and in some cases, a daily basis. Forest visitors are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” and call ahead to the local Ranger Station to check on location conditions and restrictions.
Lightweight stoves are recommended. California Campfire Permit is required for stoves and lanterns. (available on-line click here)
Campfires are not allowed in the Wilderness Areas.
Questions? Call the Idyllwild Forest Service Ranger Station at (909) 382-2921.
PLAN: know TRAILS and FOREST CONDITIONS
Use these maps and information to help inform yourself about your trip. The Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail and all wilderness trails, including the Pacific Crest Trail, are open to hikers and equestrians only - no bicycles or wheeled conveyances allowed.
Cranston Fire Closure Order (Amended 12/15/18) and Map
Due to the Cranston Fire, some trails have been subject to closure. Please contact the Idyllwild Ranger Station at (909) 382-2921 for a current list of available trails.
The trail conditions listed here are not comprehensive. if you have a question concerning current conditions please contact the Idyllwild Forest Service office at (909) 382-2921.
BE SAFE: Learn about wildlife awareness and safe practices
Don't forget your 10 essentials!
You should always be fully prepared for your trip with the 10 essentials of hiking and backpacking.
When you head out on a hike, it's best to be prepared with the proper information and important essentials for your trip. Keep in mind that weather and temperatures can vary unexpectedly throughout the day, and conditions might not be what you had originally prepared for. Please remember to bring enough water and clothing. You are responsible for your own well-being.
Please bring a filter if you plan on drinking from any body of water in the wilderness. Keep in mind that due to drought conditions there is a severe shortage of water sources in the high country. Plan accordingly.
Preserve: Practice "Leave No Trace" Principles
Help sustain healthy, vibrant natural lands for all people to enjoy, now and into the future. Every person who ventures outside should put Leave No Trace practices into action.
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles
Plan Ahead and Prepare
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
Dispose of Waste Properly
Leave What You Find
Minimize Campfire Impacts
Be Considerate of Other Visitors
To learn more, visit the Leave No Trace website.
Copyright 1999 by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org