Backcountry Camping




There are a wide range of backcountry camping experiences available in Rocky. Those new to backcountry travel have ample opportunity to break their boots in slowly, while those with many miles under their belt can find new areas that test their mettle.

Backcountry Wilderness Camping Guide

Wilderness Campsite Reservation Request Application

Most Recent Wilderness Campsite Availability List

East side backcountry office

East side Backcountry Office


Backcountry Offices

Overnight travel in the backcountry requires a permit. Permits and information are available at two Backcountry Offices within Rocky Mountain National Park. Please contact the Backcountry Office for updated information on the status of backcountry campsites.

On the east side of the park, the Backcountry Office is adjacent to the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center.

On the west side of the park, the Backcountry Office is located inside the Kawuneeche Visitor Center.

Backcountry offices are open seven days a week, seasonal hours vary. Phone: 970-586-1242

wood bridge over a stream and vegetation

Check with the Backcountry Office for current backcountry conditions.


Current Notices

  • There will be temporary closures in some backcountry campsites. Please contact the Backcountry Office for updated information on the status of backcountry sites.

  • Park staff are removing some dead trees that have been killed by an outbreak of native pine beetles. The removal reduces risk associated with falling trees. Always be aware of your surroundings, particularly during times of high winds.

  • We recommend that you visit the following topics in the Plan Your Visit section of the park site:
  • Please call 970-586-1206 for general information about the park.

  • Frequent backpackers to Rocky Mountain National Park may inquire about options to obtain backcountry permits online.

It is your responsibility to know and follow all backcountry rules and regulations. Please read the Backcountry Guide through in its entirety and browse other sections of the backcountry camping section that fits your needs.

mountain sunrise

Alpine sunrise


Backcountry Designated Site Details

Find a listing of all designated
backcountry sites in Rocky here.
Cross Country Zones

Crosscountry areas allow you
connect to far off places in the park.

Bivouac Sites

Technical climbers can obtain
permits to set up temporary
camps near climbing routes.
Backcountry Stock Sites

Horses are welcome at a
selection of backcountry sites
around the park.
Backcountry Planning Checklist

A helpful list to make sure
your backpack has everything
you need.
Backcountry Winter Camping

The backcountry can be just
as adventurous in winter, just
a little bit colder.

bear canister at a backcountry site

A bear canister


Backcountry Food Storage

Between May 1 and October 31, all food items and garbage must be secured inside a commercially-made carry in/carry out bear-resistant food storage container.

This is required for park backcountry areas below tree line and in the Boulder Field of Longs Peak, due to recurring wildlife incidents. Other methods of food storage are not permitted in the backcountry during this period.



Download a low resolution printable Wilderness Campsite Map (346K).
Download a high resolution printable Wilderness Campsite Map (7.7M).

You may use your credit card to order any of the following publications by visiting the Rocky Mountain Conservancy website or phoning their office at 800-816-7662.

  • Trails Illustrated Topographic Map of Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Hiking Rocky Mountain National Park, Dannen.
There are many other excellent sources on backcountry/wilderness hiking and camping. Take the time to learn Leave No Trace principles, how to backpack safely, and how to care for Rocky's wilderness.

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