Backpacking in Rocky Mountain National Park
Get your wilderness camping permit online!
Rocky Mountain National Park has over 265,000 acres, much of it in backcountry wilderness for backpacking and wilderness camping, with established backcountry campsites that can be reserved.
Starting in 2022, Rocky Mountain National Park is moving to a new wilderness backcountry camping permit reservation system. Beginning March 2 at 8 a.m. Mountain Time, Rocky Mountain National Park overnight wilderness backpacking camping permits from May 1 to October 31 will be available for purchase at Recreation.gov. Through the new system, customers will be able to view permit availability, book a reservation, and pay online. Phone, mail, email and fax reservations are no longer accepted. There will not be any in-person Wilderness Campsite reservations taken at park Wilderness Offices as in the past.
The www.recreation.gov site is now visible to the public. Become familiar with the site prior to March 2, when reservations go live. Those interested in booking a wilderness camping trip this summer should set up an account with Recreation.gov in advance of March 2 as the popular campsites for summer dates go quickly.
Recreation.gov has links to detailed information about Rocky Mountain National Park’s wilderness backcountry camping, including camping regulations, trail descriptions and maps. Beginning March 2, when reservations can be booked, search “Check Availability” to book small groups (1-7 people) and large groups (8-12 people). This specific feature will not be active until March 2. Be sure to review the map to determine what campsites to book and read through all the available information about Wilderness regulations and trail descriptions. Additional information with links is also located at https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/wilderness-camping.htm.
There is a $36 non-refundable administrative fee, for reservations from May 1 to October 31 and a $10 non-refundable administrative fee from November 1 to April 30 for each camping permit reserved.
The Wilderness Office where you will pick up your permit before noon on the start day of your trip is located next to the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center.
If you want to arrive early in Estes Park prior to the start of your trip, some local campgrounds have tent spots available.