Wilderness/Backcountry Use Permits

 
Two tents in a desert riparian area with brush and trees in the foreground and canyon walls rising in the background. A person is crouching down looking in the tent on the right.
Backpackers enjoy the solitude of Deadhorse Canyon along the Cottonwood/Marble Loop.

© Nico Ramirez

Know before you go! Backcountry/Wilderness permits are required for some locations and are voluntary (but highly recommended) for other locations. See the table and list of commonly asked questions below to find out if you need a permit for your trip.

Permits do not give visitors permission to camp anywhere within the park! It is your reponsibility to know where camping is permitted. The Backcountry Camping page and Backcountry & Wilderness Access Map are helpful planing tools. If you still have questions after reviewing these resources, please call the Furnace Creek Visitor Center between 8:30 and 4:30, daily:
(760) 786-3200.

 

Where Permits are Required

Use the table below to determine if a Backcountry/Wilderness Permit is required for your trip and where you can obtain the permit.

Where can permit be obtained?

Activity and location

Mandatory or optional?

When can permit be obtained?

In-person at Furnace Creek Visitor Center during business hours

24-hour self-register outside Stovepipe Wells Ranger Station

Online

Roadside camping:
Echo Canyon

Mandatory

Same day only

Yes

No

No

Roadside camping:
Hole in the Wall

Mandatory

Same day only

Yes

No

No

Roadside camping:
Cottonwood Canyon and Marble Canyon

Mandatory

Same day only

Yes

No

No

Cottonwood-Marble backpacking

Mandatory

May be done same day or in advance

Yes

Yes

Yes

All other roadside camping, backcountry cabins, backpacking, or canyoneering

Recommended

May be done same day or in advance

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

How to Fill out a Permit:

  1. Download and fill out this form completely. Leaving fields blank or location as "undecided" does not help us find you in an emergency!
  2. Email the completed form to DEVA_Backcountry_Permits@nps.gov.
  3. You will receive an automatic email reply with helpful information (also check spam email folder).
  4. Print a copy of the completed form and keep it with you while at Death Valley NP, or keep a saved digital copy with you on a smart device.
  5. Permits can also be filled out in person at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center or Stovepipe Wells Ranger Station during business hours.
Please note the email address is for permit collection only. For additional information or trip planning, please call (760) 786-3280, between 8:30 am - 4:30 pm PST. This is the most effective way to obtain timely information for your wilderness trip.

Filling out a permit provides us information in case of a search and rescue, and provides visitors with a list of rules which must be followed while camping in Death Valley.

Please submit your permit at least 3 days in advance of your trip so we can look it over and email you back if necessary information is missing.

 

Safety

Submitting a permit with your trip itinerary WILL NOT initiate a search and rescue if you are overdue. Tell a friend or family member when you expect to return from the Wilderness/backcountry. Instruct this person to contact Death Valley’s Emergency Dispatch at (760) 786-2330 if you do not return from your trip. Prior to your trip, please review our safety information.

 

Common Questions

Where can I get a permit?

All permits are available in person at Furnace Creek Visitor Center (8:00 am to 5:00 pm). Except for designated roadside camping along Echo, Hole in the Wall, Cottonwood, and Marble Roads— permits can also be obtained 24 hours/day at a self-serve kiosk outside Stovepipe Wells Ranger Station or online.

What are permits required for?
Roadside camping along Echo Canyon Road, Hole in the Wall Road, Cottonwood Canyon Road, and Marble Canyon Road. They are also required for overnight wilderness use (backpacking) of Cottonwood Canyon and Marble Canyon Trails.

Permits for backpacking (other than Cottonwood/Marble Loop), roadside camping (other than Echo Canyon Road, Hole in the Wall Road, Cottonwood Canyon Road, or Marble Canyon Road), backcountry cabin stays, or canyoneering are recommended, but are not required.

Why are permits being required in these areas?
Permits are required in these high-use backcountry areas to protect natural and cultural resources from damage caused by overuse (illegal campsite creation, excessive human waste, illegal fires, loss of solitude/wilderness character, etc.). Permits will ensure that campers understand and agree to abide by camping regulations and Leave No Trace ethics and will provide data for park managers to use in future planning efforts for these locations.

Do I need a Backcountry/Wilderness Permit if I am a CUA holder?

Guided trips and other for-profit groups need a Commercial Use Authorization to do business wtihin the park. Please check with the Permits Division to learn if a Backcountry Permit is required for your group.

Does everyone in my group need a permit?
Only one permit is needed per group.

Last updated: December 6, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 579
Death Valley , CA 92328

Phone:

760 786-3200

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