photo of East Lake, Hoover Wilderness, CA

    East Lake

     Hoover Wilderness

     East Lake

East Lake Backpacking Trip Resources

Books and Maps

Sierra North is the leading backpacking resource for backpacking in the northern Sierra. It includes a section on East Lake. Tom Harrison maps have quickly become the favorites of back country travelers.


Virginia Lakes Pack Outfit

Virginia Lakes are only a hop, skip, and a jump from East Lake (well, 6 miles) via a southern trail. Virginia Lakes Pack Outfit can pack your gear into your base camp while you make the trek on foot. Or if you would prefer, you can go on horseback along with the wrangler.

Wilderness Permits

A Wilderness Permits is required year-round for every party camping overnight in the Hoover Wilderness. From the last Friday in June through September 15 there are quotas for the number of people permitted to enter per day on certain trailheads, including Green Creek, Buckeye Creek, Robinson Creek, Horse Creek, and Virginia Lakes. The maximum group size is 15.

Self-issue wilderness permits for Sonora Pass, Leavitt Lake, and Leavitt Meadow trailheads only are located at the Leavitt Meadow trailhead.

Half of the available slots for the quota trailheads can be reserved, the rest are offered on a first come, first served basis at the Bridgeport Ranger Station. There is a $3 fee for each person in your party when making a permit reservation. You can pick up your permit at the Bridgeport office no sooner than the afternoon prior to your trip starting date and no later than 11 AM on your departure date.

Hoover Wilderness Permit Reservation Application

Pick up your permit from the Bridgeport Ranger Station on Highway 395 just south of Bridgeport, (760) 932-7070, summer hours 8am - 4pm.

In Carson City, NV, pick up maps and information at the Carson Ranger District office, 1536 S. Carson St., Carson City, (775) 882-2766

Backcountry Regulations for the Hoover Wilderness

  1. Bear canisters are now required in the Hoover Wilderness.
  2. Campfires are not permitted above 9,000 feet. While East Lake is above 9,000 feet, Green Lake is just below 9,000 feet.