Regulations & Permits

Regulations

Rules put in place by the US Forest Service and the Nevada Division of State Parks help reduce user conflicts, mitigate environmental damage, and improve the trail experience for all users. Please respect the following regulations.

Use Regulations

Interactive Map - Use Regulations

Click here to view an interactive map that displays use regulations along the trail.

  • The Tahoe Rim Trail is a multi-use trail open to hikers, bikers, and equestrians for the majority of its length. However, mountain bikes and equestrians are prohibited from some sections of the trail.
  • Dogs are allowed on all sections of the Tahoe Rim Trail. Owners are asked to keep dogs on a leash in high use areas and under voice control. Please see our hiking with dogs page for more information
  • All motorized vehicles including electric bikes (ebikes) are prohibited from all sections of the Tahoe Rim Trail.
  • The maximum group size in wilderness areas is 12. This is also the maximum recommended group size on any section of the trail.

Camping Regulations

Interactive Map - Camping Areas

Click here to view an interactive map that displays camping area restrictions.

  • In general, trail users must camp within 300 feet of the trail corridor and at least 200 feet away from water sources and 100 feet away from trails. Please see the Camping Regulations page (link) for more detailed information.
  • Camping is prohibited at trailheads.
  • All camping within the Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park is restricted to three established campsites: Marlette Peak, Hobart and North Canyon Campground.
  • Camping in Desolation Wilderness is by permit only (see permits below)
  • Bear proofing of all smellables (food, hygiene products, etc.) is required on the Tahoe Rim Trail. The preferred and most successful method is to utilize a bear canister.

Fire Regulations

  • Campfires on the Tahoe Rim Trail and in the Tahoe Basin are generally prohibited. Campfires are allowed in the Meiss Management Area and the Mt. Rose Wilderness Area only when fire restrictions are NOT in place. The most recent information about fire restrictions can be found here.

 

Permits

All trail users entering Desolation Wilderness or using a campfire or campstove will need to obtain permits. Please respect the permit system to protect wilderness resources and mitigate wildfire risk.

Use Permits

  • The only location on the Tahoe Rim Trail requiring a permit for day use is Desolation Wilderness. Permits are free, self-issued and available at all trailheads entering the wilderness. For more information on Desolation Wilderness click here.

Camping Permits

  • A permit and quota system is in place for overnight camping in Desolation Wilderness. All overnight permits must be obtained well in advance of your trip through recreation.gov, or in person at a USFS visitor center. For more information on overnight permits for Desolation Wilderness click here.

TRT Thruhikers

If you plan to thruhike the Tahoe Rim Trail, you can bypass the quota system but still must obtain a permit. Contact the Forest Service Supervisor’s Office to obtain your permit. Please call (530) 543-2694, Monday – Friday, 8 AM – 4:30 PM to request a permit by mail or you can visit the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit’s Supervisor’s Office in South Lake Tahoe, CA to pick up your permit in person. Permits are $20. This is a great option for those who are unsure exactly when and where they will be camping as they pass through Desolation Wilderness on their thruhike. Permits can only be given out within two weeks of when you plan to enter Desolation Wilderness.  For more information on backpacking and thruhiking the TRT please see our backpacking and thruhiking page.ions.

Campfire Permits

  • Campfires are generally prohibited along the TRT even with a valid campfire permit (see campfire regulations above). A campfire permit is required to use any kind of campstove anywhere on the trail. You can obtain your California Campfire Permit online for FREE. Visit preventwildfireca.org to watch a video on campfire safety and complete a short quiz before printing your permit. Permits expire on the last day of the year in which they are issued.
  • The state of Nevada does not issue its own campfire permits, but does require individuals to carry a California Campfire Permit in the Nevada backcountry on the TRT.