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


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.

You may make Wilderness Campsite Reservation Requests online or in person beginning March 1st, 2020, at 8 a.m. Mountain Standard Time for a permit for the current calendar year. 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 Campsite Reservation Request Application" link will be located here on March 1, 2020, at 8:00 am Mountain Time.

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.

On the east side of the park, the Wilderness Office is adjacent to the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center.

2019 Hours
8:00 am – 4:30 pm Jan 1 – May 25
7:00 am – 7:00 pm May 26 – Aug 17
8:00 am – 5:00 pm Aug 18 – Sept 14
8:00 am – 4:30 pm Sept 15 – Dec 31

On the west side of the park, the Wilderness Office is located inside the Kawuneeche Visitor Center.

2019 Hours
8:00 am – 4:30 pm Jan 1 – April 30
8:00 am – 5:00 pm May 1 – June 8
7:00 am – 6:00 pm June 9 – Aug 31
8:00 am – 5:00 pm Sept 1 – Sept 30
8:00 am – 4:30 pm Oct 1 – Dec 31
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.
  • Please call 970-586-1206 for general information about the park.
  • 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: October 31, 2019

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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