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Yellowstone Backcountry Camping

Resources Yellowstone Backcountry Campin

There are hundreds of miles of trails and over 300 designated backcountry campsites. Backcountry Office Phone# (307-344-2160) – for assistance with trip planning and questions. Fax # (307-344-2166)

Permits: Permits are required for all overnight stays (valid only for the dates, locations, and party size specified) and must be obtained in person no more than 48 hours in advance of a trip.

From June-August, permits are available seven days a week 8:00am-4:30pm at the following locations.

  • Bechler Ranger Station

  • Bridge Bay Ranger Station

  • Canyon Visitor Center

  • Grant Village Visitor Center

  • Old Faithful Range Station

  • South Entrance Ranger Station

  • Tower Backcountry Office

  • West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center

Note: It is recommended to obtain information on trail conditions from the office closest to where your trip/hike will begin.


Fees: The following nightly fees are charged for trips between Memorial Day and September 10. Permit fees are due when you pick up your permit, and only apply to group members age 9 and older.

  • Backpackers/Boaters: $3/person/night (with a max of $15/night)

  • Annual Backcountry Pass: $25 for the season Memorial Day to September 10. These are applicable for individuals taking several or extended overnight trips. The pass does not cover advanced reservations. You must present both the pass and photo ID for permit fees to be waived.


Reservations: Some backcountry campsites may be reserved in advance. A Backcountry Permit Reservation Application must be submitted by mail, fax, or in person, (not by phone or email). A flat, nonrefundable fee of $25 is charged for each reservation via credit card. Reservation applications are accepted from January 1 to October 31 of each calendar year. Reservations received by March 31 will be processed in random order starting April 1. Reservations received on or after April will be processed in the order they are received after the random lottery is complete.


Campsites: Each campsite has a maximum for the number of people (and stock) allowed per night. Maximum length of stay per campsite varies from 1 to 3 nights per trip. Only one group is allowed per campsite (an exception is allowed at some campsites). A food storage pole is provided at every campsite so that food and attractants may be secured from bears.


Yellowstone National Park Backcountry Trip Planner: For detailed information on backcountry hiking and camping, outdoor ethics, bear awareness, regulations, campsites, horsepacking, etc., access this website for the downloadable document, “Yellowstone Backcountry Trip Planner”, from the National Park Service. (


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