Grand Teton National Park encompasses over 310,000 acres of mountains, lakes, plains, and rivers with over 200 miles of hiking trails to explore. A backcountry trip is a great way to enjoy the park, but takes planning. Permits are required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. Most trails gain elevation and many cross steep mountain passes. Snow and ice can remain on designated trails well into July. Rivers and creeks are extremely cold and swift from spring runoff.
Getting a Permit
A permit is required for all overnight stays in the Grand Teton backcountry. Permits can be purchased online in advance, or in park the day before.
Advance Backcountry Permits
Requests for advance backcountry reservations for the summer season are accepted January through May. Reservation dates will be posted closer to opening. All requests must be submitted on recreation.gov. Customers will be able to view backcountry campsite availability in real-time and apply for reservations accordingly. A $45 non-refundable processing fee is charged for each trip upon completion of your reservation. To facilitate the permit reservation process, establish a recreation.gov account prior to the reservation system open season.
First-come, First-serve Backcountry Permits
The park will reserve up to one-third of each camping zone in advance, and save two-thirds of each zone for first-come, first-served permits. Permits can be picked up in-person one day before the start of a backcountry trip. Those who do not secure an advanced reservation may still apply for a walk-in permit. During peak season (July and August), competition for twalk-in permits is high. There is a $35 fee for each walk-in backcountry permit. Permits are available at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center, Colter Bay Visitor Center, and the Jenny Lake Ranger Station. Check location for hours and season dates.
Be sure to research your trip itinerary before you attempt to reserve your trip. Download the backcountry camping brochure for information on trail distances and campsite locations. Topographical maps and books describing the trails are available for purchase at the Grand Teton Association website.
Grand Teton is bear country! Grand Teton National Park requires the use of Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee approved canisters for food storage in the backcountry. All permit holders may check out a canister, free of charge.
Backcountry Travel Video
Watch a short video to learn about backcountry travel in Grand Teton.
Additional Grand Teton Information
Last updated: August 23, 2021