Wilderness Camping

At left, a tent and campsite in rocks with a peak behind. On right, a field of windblown snow below the summit of Longs Peak.
Longs Peak from the Boulderfield in late summer (left) and early summer (right).

NPS Photos



Wilderness Office near
Beaver Meadows Visitor Center
7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. seven days a week
Wilderness Office at
Kawuneeche Visitor Center
9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday
Closed Monday & Tuesday


There are a wide range of wilderness camping experiences available in Rocky. 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.

Please see below for information about summer season wilderness camping permit reservations, which will begin online only on March 8.

Winter permits may be picked up in person at the Wilderness Office on the east side of the park seven days a week and on the west side five days a week.

Due to current public health guidance related to COVID, there will not be any in-person Wilderness Campsite Reservation Requests taken at the Wilderness Office for summer season camping from March 1 through March 21, 2021. Phone, mail, email and fax reservations are not accepted.

Use these links to plan and request your trip:

Wilderness Camping Guide

Wilderness Campsite Map

Wilderness Campsite Designated Site Details

The wilderness backcountry camping permit reservation system for Rocky Mountain National Park is experiencing technical difficulties. To better serve park visitors, we continue to work with Pay.gov to ensure a smooth payment experience for the online wilderness backcountry camping permit reservation system.

We plan to reinitiate the rollout on Monday, March 8 at 8 a.m. mountain time, the link for camping reservations will be found at www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/wilderness-camping.htm

Later this week we will provide further information on how the wilderness backcountry reservations will be implemented next week.

Thank you for your patience and understanding while we work through the process.

East side backcountry office
East side Wilderness Office


Wilderness Offices

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).

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.

wood bridge over a stream and vegetation
Check with the Wilderness Office for current wilderness conditions.


Current Notices

  • There will be temporary closures in some wilderness campsites. Please contact the Wilderness Office for updated information on the status of wilderness sites.
  • Park staff are removing some dead trees that have been killed by an outbreak of native pine beetles. The removal reduces risk associated with falling trees. Always be aware of your surroundings, particularly during times of high winds.
  • We recommend that you visit the following topics:

mountain sunrise
Alpine sunrise


Find a listing of all designated wilderness sites in Rocky here.
Cross-country Zones allow you to connect to far off places in the park.
Technical climbers can obtain permits to set up temporary camps near climbing routes.
Horses are welcome at a selection of wilderness sites around the park.
A helpful list to make sure
your backpack has everything
you need.
The wilderness can be just
as adventurous in winter, just
a little bit colder.

bear canister at a backcountry site
A bear canister


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 container.

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.

Last updated: March 2, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517


(970) 586-1206
Through winter, the Information Office is open 8:00 am–4:30 pm Mon–Fri. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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