Backcountry Permit & Regulations

A hiker walking on a straight stretch of trail surrounded by green foliage. A large tree is in the immediate foreground.

Changes to Backcountry Permit

Shenandoah has implemented a new process to obtain a backcountry permit. Backcountry campers must purchase their permits at or by calling (877) 444-6777.

You will no longer be able to obtain a paper permit through the park’s website or at the park.

Learn more about this new process.

Each year thousands of people spend a night or more in Shenandoah’s backcountry. While visitors seek the backcountry for isolation, the cumulative actions of everyone in these areas can have dire effects on the resources we seek to enjoy. We can mitigate these effects by following Leave No Trace principles, as well as observing Park backcountry regulations. The following regulations exist to keep Shenandoah's wilderness wild and untrammeled for you and for future generations of hikers.


Backcountry Regulations

A backcountry camping permit is required to camp in Shenandoah's backcountry. Explore essential information for your backcountry trip.


New Backcountry Permit System

Shenandoah National Park has implemented a new Backcountry Camping Permit system replacing the old paper permits. The process is now online, hosted on This change not only makes things more straightforward but also helps the park keep track of and manage backcountry usage efficiently, protecting the park's resources. You can obtain your permit online or by phone through This only affects how you get the permit – camping rules and experiences stay the same. Backcountry campers can get permits for up to 14 nights, with the group size capped at 10.

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4 minutes, 12 seconds

Follow the tutorial in this video to help you obtain your backcountry permit online through

Obtain your Permit


New Backcountry Permit FAQs



Last updated: May 14, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East

Luray, VA 22835


540 999-3500
Emergency Phone: 1-800-732-0911

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