Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
Yes
Lodging
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Granite Chief Wilderness is a 28,374-acre federally designated wilderness area that is located within Tahoe National Forest and managed by the Forest Service.  

Sitting at the headwaters of the American River, Granite Chief is protected to preserve its remote, pristine nature, giving visitors plenty of opportunities for primitive recreation. This area is made up of granite peaks, cliffs, and glacially carved hanging valleys. 

There is a vast network of trails that allows hikers and horseback riders to traverse red-fir and lodgepole pine forests, evergreen woodlands, and beautiful meadows. 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Western States Endurance Run and the equestrian Western States Trail Ride, cross portions of the wilderness. 

  • In addition to the Pacific Crest Trail that runs along the east edge of the wilderness, there are 37 miles of trails and 8 trailheads.

RECREATION ACTIVITIES

Hiking, backpacking, dispersed camping, lake and pond fishing, river and stream fishing, nature walks, wildlife viewing, cross-country skiing, and mountain climbing, 

PERMITS AND CAMPING

  • Permits are not required for day use or overnight camping. 

  • California campfire permits are required. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

USFS: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/ltbmu/recarea/?recid=11819

California Campfire Permit: https://www.readyforwildfire.org/permits/campfire-permit/

Western States Run: https://www.wser.org/

 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Remote. Primitive recreation. Alpine lakes.

Cons

Mosquitos in the summer.

Features

Wildlife
Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Geologically significant
Near lake or river
Horseback riding

Location

Nearby Adventures

Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, California
Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, California

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.

You May Also Enjoy

Death Valley National Park, California
Death Valley National Park, California