Free backcountry permits are required for overnight stays outside of established campgrounds. For experienced backpackers, there are many opportunities for backcountry camping at Dinosaur National Monument. The beauty and solitude are inspiring, but the terrain is isolated and rugged. It is also very difficult to find water in the backcountry. Good planning is essential. Please remember that despite its appearances, Dinosaur National Monument is home for black bears. Proper storage of food or any items that produce odors is required at all locations in the backcountry. Visit our bear information page for details.
Attention: The Ely Creek backcountry campsites are currently closed due to bear activitiy in the area. We will take reservations for the sites beginning March 1, 2014 for dates starting May 2, 2014. Reservations may be cancelled if bear activity resumes.
Backcountry campsites are located along the Green and Yampa Rivers, but these sites are reserved for boaters during the high-use river-running season, which is the second Monday in May until the second Friday in September. Backpackers may use the river campsites during the off-season.
Besides the campsites along the Green and Yampa Rivers, there are two designated backcountry campsites at the confluence of Jones Hole Creek and Ely Creek, along the Jones Hole Trail. Reservations are required to use this location. Call (435) 781-7700 for reservations.
AT LARGE CAMPING
A free backcountry permit is required before you venture into the monument's backcountry overnight. Water is scarce. Contact a ranger at (435) 781-7700 if you need help planning your trip. Basically, you can camp anywhere provided you are:
Did You Know?
Split Mountain, the name John Wesley Powell gave to one of the Dinosaur’s most recognizable features, is aptly named: over millions of years, the Green River has carved a canyon into the center of the mountain, splitting it in two.