Kernville, CA – Sequoia National Forest officials announce 2020 Free Holiday-weekend permit dates for the Kern River Ranger District’s Old Goldledge Campground. Holiday camping permit requests must be received between March 15 and April 30 for the upcoming summer season.

According to the Kern River Ranger District Recreation Officer, Tricia Maki, the district will continue efforts to balance the needs of recreationists with impacts on the land along the Upper Kern Wild and Scenic River. In 2019, a pilot program was implemented at Old Goldledge Campground to better align the number of visitors and vehicles with the physical capacity of the camping area.

Except for the Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or Labor Day weekends, Old Goldledge is open for camping without a permit.

The free permit program will only be in place during high use holiday-weekends. Visitors will not be allowed to camp in the Old Goldledge dispersed area during these weekends without a permit.

Permits required:

  • Memorial Day Weekend: May 21-25 (Thursday – Monday)
  • July 4th Weekend: July 2-5 (Thursday – Sunday)
  • Labor Day Weekend: September 3-7 (Thursday – Monday)

Requests must be received between March 15 and April 30 for the 2020 Holiday camping periods. Be sure to indicate which holiday weekends you are requesting. Individuals may request multiple holidays but are only eligible for one permit per season. Each permit will allow a maximum group size of 15 individuals and 3 vehicles.

To manage the number of campers, reduce health and safety risks, and minimize damage to natural resources in the Old Goldledge dispersed camping area, free holiday-weekend permits will be issued on a lottery basis. “Currently, far more people camp in this dispersed campground on summer holiday weekends than the site can sustainably accommodate,” stated Maki. “This overcrowding also causes public safety concerns by limiting emergency vehicles access.”

To apply for a Free Holiday-weekend permit, visit or contact the Kern River Ranger District Office at 760-376-3781.