Call Wilderness Office (970-586-1242) for likely snow, trail or campsite conditions at time of trip
Do not plan too early. Be cautious regarding snow conditions when planning trips in April, May and June). See Wilderness Designated Campsite Details for most likely snow free campsite dates.
Check permit regulations
Order maps and guidebooks and compass
Begin breaking in new boots
When you are ready to make a reservation for your Summer Wilderness Backpacking Trip go towww.recreation.gov to make your reservation. Reservations for Summer Wilderness Backpacking Trips will open March 1 at 8:00 am Mountain Time. For more details go to the Wilderness Camping webpage.
Reservation Requests are not accepted for Camping Dates from November 1 through April 30. Walk-up/In-person permits are available at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center Wilderness Office (west of Estes Park on Hwy 36) or the Kawuneeche Visitor Center (north of Grand Lake on Hwy 34). Fore more details go to the Wilderness Camping webpage.
Three Weeks Ahead
Confirm group gear with hiking partners
Go over checklist of backpacking gear
Make sure your gear works and replace or repair
Plan your menu
One to Two Weeks Ahead
Buy and repackage food
Pack gear, checking each piece off list as it enters the pack
Verify departure plans with hiking partners
Give a copy of itinerary and return time to a friend or relative
Day of Trip
Recheck gear when you meet with your group
Stop at Wilderness Office for permit and current wilderness information
Permit cannot be issued without license plate number(s)
Put car keys in safe place and give a duplicate to your hiking companion