Hoover Wilderness, California

Mammoth Lakes California
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Hoover Wilderness

Home to glistening alpine lakes, soaring Sierra peaks, as well as abundant hiking, and fishing, the Hoover Wilderness invites visitors to experience one of the most stunning sections of the Sierras. Read More

  • The Hoover WIlderness is located in both the Inyo and Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests about 30 miles from Mammoth Lakes.
  • Experience 20 lakes basin on a scenic 8 mile hike.
  • Anglers will find the lakes stocked with brown, brook, rainbow, and golden trout.


The Hoover Wilderness, located in the both the Inyo and Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests, is comprised of 48,601 acres of wilderness land.

Visitors come to the area for a chance to hike and fish in the beautiful eastern Sierras. Popular destinations in Hoover Wilderness Area include Twenty Lakes Basin, and Virginia Lakes Basin.

Location & Information

The Hoover Wilderness is located in both the Toiyabe National Forest and Inyo National Forest on the eastern crest of the Sierra’s. The wilderness is best accessed from July until September.

Inyo National Forest
Supervisor's Office
351 Pacu Lane, Suite 200
Bishop, CA 93514
(760) 873-2400


The Hoover Wilderness is home to miles of backcountry hiking. Popular trails include:

  • 20 Lakes Basin: The main trailhead for this area is located at Saddlebag Lake. In just 8.4 miles it delivers hikers to a small basin packed with twenty alpine lakes. The hike is a loop, and has minimal elevation gain as you begin at 10,000 feet.
  • Virginia Lakes Basin: This 6.6 mile loop passes along many alpine lakes and boasts views of Dunderberg Peak and Black Mountain.

When fishing in any of Hoover’s many alpine lakes and streams, expect brown, brook, rainbow, and golden trout. Nearly all the lakes in the area are stocked, so just pick a spot, cast your rod, and enjoy the day.

Most camping in the Hoover Wilderness is primitive backcountry camping. Wood campfires are not allowed above 9,000 feet, or in the Virginia and Greek Creek Drainages. There is no camping with ¼ mile of Barney, Red, Blue and Big Virginia Lakes. There is also no camping within 100 feet of any lake, shore, stream, or developed trail. Permits are required and can be obtained from the Hoover Wilderness.

Trumbull Lake
This is one of the few established campgrounds in the wilderness. There are 45 sites. Half are available on a first-come first-served basis while the other half is available for reservation. Fees are $17.00 per site per night. The campground is generally open from early June until October 15th.