Wilderness Camping




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 at 8 a.m. Mountain Standard Time for a permit for the current calendar year. Phone, mail, email and fax reservations are not accepted. The following 4 links will help you plan and request your trip

Wilderness Camping Guide

Wilderness Campsite Map (PDF 600kb)

Most Recent Wilderness Campsite Availability List

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.

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

Wilderness Offices are open seven days a week, seasonal hours vary. Phone: 970-586-1242

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 in the Plan Your Visit section of the park site:
  • Please call 970-586-1206 for general information about the park.
  • Frequent backpackers to Rocky Mountain National Park may inquire about options to obtain wilderness permits online.

It is your responsibility to know and follow all wilderness rules and regulations. Please read the Wilderness Camping Guide through in its entirety and browse other sections of the wilderness camping section that fits your needs.

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 Climbing Bivouac Zones
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 May 1 and October 31, all food items and garbage must be secured inside a 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.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517


(970) 586-1206
Have questions? We've got answers! Call 8am–4:30pm Mountain Time to speak with park staff (recorded information after hours). For Trail Ridge Road status, call (970) 586-1222.

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