Hoover Wilderness in California

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Hoover Wilderness

Hoover Wilderness, on the northeast border of Yosemite National Park, offers a vacation spot with towering peaks, sparkling lakes and lush meadows, the ideal place for hiking, camping and more. Read More

  • Hoover Wilderness, close to Yosemite National Park, has towering peaks and sparkling lakes
  • Visit from late June through early October
  • Hike from Yosemite into the Hoover Wilderness on the Benson Lake Trail
  • Fish for rainbow in the streams and lakes
  • Discover coyote, bear and mountain lions in their natural environment


The California Hoover Wilderness is over 48,000 acres of pristine forest, with canyons, lakes, meadows and spectacular mountain scenery. It lies in the Humboldt-Toiyabe and Inyo National Forests, close to Yosemite, with outdoor recreation opportunities galore.

Location & Information

Hoover Wilderness Area is easily accessible along Highway 120 and at points along Highway 395, close to the Tioga Pass entrance station to Yosemite.

The recommended seasons for visiting Hoover Wilderness are from late June through early October.

Contact information:
Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
Bridgeport Ranger District
HCR 1 Box 1000
Bridgeport, CA 93517


Hoover Wilderness CA includes such popular locations such as Virginia and Twenty Lakes Basins and the Matterhorn Peak. You can find all sorts of outdoor adventures is this amazing region.

  • Hiking
    There are numerous trails within this wilderness area, including Virginia Creek, Little Walker River and more. You can get trail maps at the Ranger Station in Bridgeport. Longer treks exist that begin outside of Hoover Wilderness, such as the Crown Lake hike, a 15-mile out-and-back trek starting in the Ritter Range and bringing you through parts of the Hoover Wilderness Area. The Benson Lake Trail begins in the northern section of Yosemite and is a 37.2-mile hike out-and-back with a minimal elevation gain.
  • Fishing
    Catch some brook, golden and rainbow trout at any of the lakes within Hoover Wilderness, such as Barney, Big Virginia and Blue Lakes. There are also many streams where you will find eastern brook trout and more rainbow.
  • Wildlife Watching
    Wildlife busy themselves amongst Hoover Wilderness’ trees and crevices, and it is not uncommon to see at least one or more bobcat, coyote, bear, deer, or on the rare occasion, a mountain lion.
  • Camping
    Hoover Wilderness California is a wonderful place to camp out under the stars. Some of the more popular areas are Barney and Peeler Lakes and in the Twenty Lakes Basin. Be sure to get all the regulations on backcountry camping from the Ranger Station before you embark on your adventure.

Fun Facts

Named after President Herbert Hoover, the Hoover Wilderness was designated by the Forest Service as a Primitive Area in 1931. It became an official Wild Area in 1956 and a Wilderness Area in 1964.