Backcountry Use Permits

bear country sign

NPS Photo/Cookie Ballou

A backcountry use permit is required for backcountry camping, including backpacking, backcountry roadside campsites, and zone camping. Backcountry use permits are also required for day-use and overnight river trips and stock use.

Things to know about backcountry permits:

  • Permits will be issued in person only, during normal visitor center hours, and may be obtained up to 24 hours in advance of the trip.
  • Permit cost is $12 for overnight use ($6 with a Senior or Access pass). There is no charge for day-use river or stock permits.
  • Permits are issued on a first come, first-served basis. During peak visitation periods permits are in high demand, so plan an alternative itinerary.
  • Permit authorizes camping only at designated sites in the Chisos Mountains or at designated backcountry roadside campsites. You must choose your campsite(s) at the time the permit is issued. Wilderness camping requires specifying a particular zone for each night.
  • Permits may be written for up to 14 consecutive nights.
  • Permit changes may be made without an additional fee, provided no new days are added. Permit changes must be made in person.

Last updated: September 16, 2019

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834-0129


(432) 477-2251

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