photo of Evolution Valley, Kings Canyon National Park, CA

North Lake to
South Lake Resources

Kings Canyon National Park

McClure Meadow, Evolution Valley

North Lake to South Lake Backpacking Trip Resources

Maps and Books

Sierra South is the leading backpacking resource for backpacking in the southern Sierra. Reliable maps facilitate trip planning and are invaluable in the back country.


Bishop Pack Outfitters

To jump-start your trip into Kings Canyon, consider having your party's gear packed in the first day by local packer Bishop Pack Outfitters. Located a couple miles from the trailhead near North Lake, they know all the trails and best camping spots. Or if you would prefer, you can go on horseback along with the packer and save your legs for later.

Wilderness Permits

A wilderness Permit is required for each party entering the John Muir Wilderness and Kings Canyon National Park via Piute Pass. Since the beginning of the trail is within the Inyo National Forest, they are the agency that issues the permit. The permit covers your entire trip, including the time within Kings Canyon National Park. Backpackers do not need a separate permit from the park.

A maximum of 30 people may be admitted on permits for the Kearsarge Pass trail per day. Eighteen slots may be reserved ahead of time and 12 are issued each day as first-come, first-served, walk-up permits available after 11 AM the day before your departure from the Inyo National Forest.

Permits can be reserved from 2 days up to 6 months prior to your departure. The permit reservation costs $5 per person in your party and $6 for a transaction fee. Wilderness permit reservations are handled by Obtain your permit at their website: - Inyo National Forest Wilderness Permits.
Arrange to pick your permit at one of these locations, no later than 10 AM the day of your departure (or call 1-2 weeks ahead of time to arrange late pickup).

  • Eastern Sierra InterAgency Visitor Center, Hwy. 395, 2 miles south of Lone Pine, CA
  • Mammoth Lakes Visitor Center, 2500 Main St., Mammoth Lakes, CA
  • White Mountain Ranger Station, 798 N. Main St., Bishop, CA
  • Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center, Hwy. 395, North of Lee Vining, CA

Backcountry Regulations for Kings Canyon & John Muir Wilderness

  1. Bear canisters are required in Dusy Basin and around Bishop Pass. Otherwise counter-balance from tree is allowed.
  2. Campfires are not permitted above 10,000' in Kings Canyon.
  3. Golden Trout Lake - no camping within 500 feet.