How to Make a Backcountry Campsite Reservation on Recreation.gov

All visitors wishing to camp in the Backcountry need a permit. In order to obtain a permit, go to www.recreation.gov using the internet on a tablet, smartphone, or computer.

  1. Go to www.recreation.gov
  2. Go to Sign Up/Log In, which is located in the small search box (with three lines) at the top right of the page. Either log in or sign up for new account. This is needed to start building an itinerary.
  3. Once logged in, search Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Backcountry Camping Permit on the home page.
  4. Click on Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Backcountry Camping Permit.
  5. On the right hand side, click Build Itinerary.
  6. At the top left of the page, enter the number of people in your group. Enter your start date in the window below that.
  7. The available sites will be listed in alphabetical order, and will show how many sites are available at each backcountry camping area.
  8. Click the site desired for each day, and the sites chosen will appear on the map on the right. Or choose Itinerary View.
  9. When finished building the itinerary, at the bottom of the page click Book Now.
  10. Next, fill out the Group Leader first and last name, email, phone number, and zip code.
  11. Scroll down and enter group size. If the group size is the same for each night, click the check box.
  12. Enter the camping equipment that will be used, fill out the vehicle information, and travel method that will be used. If kayaking, sea kayaks are strongly recommended.
  13. Provide an emergency contact.
  14. Finally scroll down to the bottom of the page and check the box indicating that you have read and agree to the Important Information. (Make sure you do read it!)
  15. Once you've completed all the above steps, click Proceed to Cart.
  16. The itinerary information will display, then click Proceed to Payment.
  17. Enter the payment information required and scroll down to the bottom and click Next.
  18. A reservation is now completed and recreation.gov will send a confirmation email. This is not the permit.
  19. If planning the trip several weeks in advance, a permit can be printed no sooner than 14 days prior to the trip. Sign back into your account when it's time to print your permit. If a reservation is made in less than 14 days in advance, the permit can be printed immediately. After you print the permit, no changes can be made. You can print your permit the day of your trip as well. Above all, DO NOT FORGET TO PRINT YOUR PERMIT!
  20. 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: September 4, 2020

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