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

Permits are highly recommended for all overnight Wilderness users. Filling out a permit provides us information in case of a search and rescue, and provides you with a handy list of rules you must follow while camping in Death Valley.

Backcountry permits are optional, but it's recommended that folks submit their permit at least 3 days in advance of their trip so we can look them over and email permit holders back if necessary if information is missing.

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. They can 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.

Only one permit is needed per group.

Permits do not give you 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.

Guided trips and other for-profit groups need a Commercial Use Authorization to do business wtihin the park.

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.

Permit Notices

General:  This information is provided pursuant to Public Law 93-579 (Privacy Act of 1974), December 21, 1984, for individuals completing this form.

Authority:  54 U.S.C. §100101, NPS Organic Act; 16 U.S.C. 1131-1136, Wilderness Act; 43 U.S.C. §1701 et seq.,16 U.S.C. §6801-6814, the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act; 36 CFR Part 71, Recreation Fees; 36 CFR 1.6, Permits; and 36 CFR 2.23 Recreation Fees.

Purpose and Uses:  To establish and verify an applicant's eligibility for a permit to conduct certain activities within the National Park System and to process permits for individual members of the public and organizations interested in obtaining a permit authorizing an activity.  Information collected will be used to provide the public and permittees with permit-related information, to monitor activities conducted under a permit, to analyze data and produce reports to monitor the use park resources, to assess the impact of permitted activities on the conservation and management of protected species and their habitats, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the permit programs.  The DOI and NPS may use the information to meet reporting requirements, to generate budget estimates and track performance, and to assist park staff with visitor education, fee collection, resource management and protection, recreational use planning, law enforcement and public safety personnel for such purposes as emergency contact and search and rescue efforts; to provide permit holders and participants with information about parks and their partners; and to provide reports of activities conducted under an issued permit.

Based on the disclosures generally permitted under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b) of the Privacy Act, the National Park Service may share information with first responders and Federal, state, and local governments to provide information needed to locate an individual or render aid in an emergency; to recover debts owed to the United States; to respond to a violation or potential violation of the law; in response to a court order and/or discovery purposes related to litigation; or other authorized routine use when the disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the records were compiled.

Effects of Nondisclosure:  It is in your best interest to answer all of the questions.  The U.S. Criminal Code, Title 18 U.S.C. 1001, provides that knowingly falsifying or concealing a material fact is a felony that may result in fines of up to $10,000 or 5 years in prison, or both.  Deliberately and materially making false or fraudulent statements on this form will be grounds for not granting you a Backcountry/Wilderness Use Permit.
We are collecting this information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501) and 36 CFR 1-7, 12 and 13 which authorize the National Park Service to require applicants to fill out this form to monitor resources and to protect visitors.  This information is being collected to allow the park management to make value judgements necessary to enhance the safety and enjoyment of both the visitors and wildlife.  All applicable parts of the form must be completed in order for your request to be considered. You are not required to respond to this or any other Federal agency-sponsored information collection unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

Public Reporting burden for this form is estimated to average 8 minutes per response, including the time it takes for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining data, and completing and reviewing the form.  Comments regarding this burden estimate or any aspect of this form should be sent to the Information Collection Clearance Officer, National Park Service, 1201 Oakridge Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80525. Do not send this application to this address but rather to the park address listed at the top of the first page.

Last updated: September 14, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 579
Death Valley , CA 92328


760 786-3200

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