Backcountry Information

Backcountry collage, with hoodoos on the left, hummingbird next, flowers next and a buck mule deer on the right. Photos by Ron Warner


Bryce Canyon's backcountry trails offer solitude, forests, meadows, wildlife, wildflowers and interesting geologic features. There are 8 campsites on the 22.9 mile (36.9 km) Under-the-Rim Trail. There are 4 campsites on the 8.8 mile (14.2 km) Riggs Spring Loop Trail. The trails are strenuous, with multiple changes in elevation. Elevations range from 6,800 feet (2,073 m) to 9,115 feet (2778 m).

Permits are required for all overnight stays. Permits may be purchased at the Visitor Center from 8 a.m. until one hour before closing. We do not accept advance reservations via the internet or mail. Reservations may be made up to 48 hours in advance, in person, at the visitor center.

  • A fee of $5 per person, age 16 years and older, is charged per backcountry permit.

Camp only at designated campsites. Leave no trace.

Shuttle Service may be available, click here for more information.

Water can usually be found at Right Fork Yellow Creek, Yellow Creek Groupsite, Yellow Creek, Sheep Creek, Iron Spring, Riggs Spring and Yovimpa Pass. Water must be purified by boiling (10 minutes), filtering or iodine treatment.

Open fires are not permitted. Camp stoves are permitted.

The 10 regular backcountry campsites are limited to a maximum of 6 people per site. The 2 group sites can have up to 15 persons.

Check the Backcountry brochure (PDF-690K) for more information, regulations, and preparedness guidelines.

(The DATUM provided for each site was derived from a handheld GPS unit and does not represent NPS approved information.)

bear-resistant canister

Bear-resistant canister

Safety in the Backcountry

As in any "wild" setting the chance of human/animal interaction will increase as more and more people visit wilderness areas to get away from crowds. In the summer of 2010, a Black Bear had to be killed when it repeatedly exhibited aggressive behavior towards backcountry campers. Unfortunately, bears often lose their natural wariness towards humans when they become habituated to human food.

Whenever bear/human encounters occur in the backcountry, Bryce Canyon National Park REQUIRES that backcountry campers store their food in bear-resistant canisters. Under these circumstances, hanging food is insufficient! Please bring your own approved bear-resistant canister with you, or you may borrow a canister (free-of-charge) from the visitor center when you obtain your backcountry permit.

The following link provides information about Black Bears and what you should and shouldn't do if you encounter one.

Black Bear encounter information (Information courtesy of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

Information about other animals that may be encountered in Bryce Canyon can be viewed here.


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