How to Make a Backcountry Campsite Reservation on

All visitors wishing to spend the night in the backcountry need a permit. There is no drop-in backcountry camping or dispersed camping. All backcountry camping takes place in established sites that need to be reserved.

Reservations can be made and permits obtained through See directions below to make a backcountry reservation and get your permit!
The homepage. The option to sign up or log in is circled. A text box reads "log into your existing account or create a new account".
Log in/Make an account

1. Go to and sign into your existing account or create a new account.

This is necessary to make your backcountry itinerary. Once you create an account, you will be able to view and manage all of your reservations and permits through

The homepage with a red circle around the main search bar. A text box reads "type Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Backcountry Camping Permit" in the search bar.

2. Once logged in, search "Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Backcountry Camping Permit" on the home page.

Click on the suggested permit that should pop up under the search bar. You can also access this from the main Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore page. Searching for the specific permit is just a more direct route.
The page for Pictured Rocks' Backcountry permit. The option to "build itinerary" is circled. A text box reads "click build itinerary"
Build itinerary

3. On the right hand side, click Build Itinerary.

This will take you to a page displaying sites and availability.
The page showing availability of backcountry sites. Group size is circled, enter number of campers, including yourself. Availability is shown in a grid. You can toggle between map and itinerary view.
Availability grid

4. At the top left of the page, enter the number of people in your group, including yourself.

Enter your start date in the window below that. The sites will be listed in alphabetical order. Sites displaying an “A” are available, “R” denotes reserved, and “X” denotes that the site is unavailable to be reserved.
The same page as the last image with site availability displayed. One site has been selected for two days. A text box reads "select dates and sites". A red circle is around a button called 'add to cart" a text box reads "when finished, add to cart".
Selecting sites

5. Click the site desired for each day, and the sites chosen will appear on the map on the right. When finished building the itinerary, click “Add to Cart”.

Double check milage between sites. Keep in mind that most people hike 2-3 miles per hour in the back country. Review important backcountry information before making site selections! Site information begins on page 8.
A screenshot of order details for a backcountry camping permit. All personal information has been replaced with "your information". A rec circle is around a checkbox that reads "group size is the same for each campsite". text: Check this box if applicable
Order details

6. On the next page, your first and last name and email will have been automatically imported into the boxes under “group leader details”.

Fill out any additional details needed. Scroll down and enter group size. If the group size is the same for each night, check the applicable box. You will also be asked for emergency contact information. Please use someone who is not camping with you as your emergency contact.
The lower half of the order details page. An option to add a pass discount is circled, if you hold a senior or access pass you are eligible for a discount. A list of terms and conditions is in a box. there is an empty box to check after you read the info.
Order details 2 - discounts & terms

7. READ the important information!

This information is vitally important to your safety, preserving Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and ensuring you have a successful trip. Please fully read this information and take any instructed actions.
If you hold a Senior or Access America the Beautiful Pass (Golden Age or Golden Access Pass holders prior to 2006), you are eligible for a 50% discount on camping. You would add your pass information here.
AFTER you have read the important information, check the box indicating you have done so. Then, you can click "proceed to cart"
A screenshot of the shopping cart with the sample permit. There is an option to modify the reservation, a text box reads if you need to make changes use the modify button. If the summary of your trip looks correct proceed to payment
Shopping cart

8. Double check your itinerary information!

If you need to edit this, click “modify”. If everything looks correct, click “proceed to payment”.

the homepage of with a circle around three lines in the upper right corner of the screen, next to the profile. A text box reads click here.
Access permit step 1

9. Fill out payment information and check out.

You will recieve a confirmation email after checkout. THIS IS NOT YOUR PERMIT.
You will need to log back in to your account and view upcoming reservations to print your permit, up to 14 days in advance.
The pop out menu that appears when the three lines are clicked. There are options to view account, reservations, favorites, and passes. Reservations is circled. a text box reads view reservations here.
Access permit step 2

10. Access upcoming reservations.

Click the "reservations" button in the pop-out menu. This will take you to your upcoming reservations.
A screenshot of upcoming reservations on there is a sample reservation with options to view reservations, modify or cancel reservation, or print permit. print permit is circled. this button will download your permit as a PDF to print
Print permit

11. Print your permit.

Click on the button "Print Permit". This will download your permit as a PDF, which you can print. Keep this permit on you for the entire duration of your trip!
The permit is needed at all times while in the backcountry. Have the permit easily accessible while hiking, and make sure the permit is secured to the tent or hammock once camp is set up. (Securing it in a waterproof zip-lock bag works well).

Last updated: April 17, 2023

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