There are a wide range of wilderness camping experiences available in Rocky Mountain National Park. Those new to wilderness travel have ample opportunity to break their boots in slowly, while those with many miles under their belt can find new areas that test their mettle.
Planning for Summer 2023 Wilderness Backpacking Trips?
The www.recreation.gov site includes important links to detailed information about Rocky Mountain National Park's wilderness backcountry camping, including camping regulations, trail descriptions and maps.
Wilderness Food Storage
Between April 1 and October 31, all food items and garbage must be secured inside a hard sided commercially-made carry in/carry out bear-resistant food storage canister.
This is required for park wilderness areas below tree line and in the Boulder Field of Longs Peak, due to recurring wildlife incidents. Other methods of food storage are not permitted in the wilderness during this period.
Overnight travel in the wilderness requires a permit. Permits and information are available at two Wilderness Offices within Rocky Mountain National Park. Please contact the Wilderness Office for updated information on the status of Wilderness campsites (970-586-1242). For status of wilderness campsites on the west side of the park, call the Kawuneeche Visitor Center Wilderness Office at (970-586-1521).
On the east side of the park, the Wilderness Office is adjacent to the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center.
On the west side of the park, the Wilderness Office is located inside the Kawuneeche Visitor Center.
Wilderness Office Hours
2023 - 2024 Winter Wilderness Backpacking Camping Permits
Wilderness Permits are required to camp in the backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park year-round. Winter wilderness campsites are plentiful in the park. Permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Advanced reservations are not required.
A physical paper permit must be picked up at one of the Wilderness Offices during business hours. This permit must be carried with you into the backcountry. Your wilderness permit is an officially issued, hard copy, printed permit that must be picked up in person from one of the Wilderness Offices before you begin any backcountry trip.
Wilderness Office Business Hours - Winter Permits
Last updated: September 28, 2023