To camp below the rim at Bright Angel, Indian Garden or Cottonwood Campgrounds, you will need to apply for and obtain a Backcountry Permit from the National Park Service. Click here for Backcountry info and required forms.
The Backcountry Office will issue your permit and reserve your campsite if available. Submit the permit request form in one of the following ways:
The furthest in advance permit requests are accepted and considered by the Backcountry Information Center is the first of the month, four months prior to the proposed start month.
To obtain a backcountry permit for the dates and use areas/campsites of your choice, ensure your request arrives at the Backcountry Information Center on the first day it will be accepted (but not before). Faxing is strongly recommended. Popular use areas/campsites fill up the first week of the first month they become available for permit requests.
Only written requests are accepted during the fourth-month-out. Written requests may be submitted by fax, by letter, or by hand delivery. Regardless of how they are submitted, written requests will be considered based on the date on which they are received, and all of the requests received by 5:00 p.m. on the first day of the fourth-month-out will be placed in random order by computer and considered in that new order before the next day's requests receive consideration.
Verbal in-person permit requests are only considered for start dates one to three months out.
Replies will be sent via US Mail or email. Due to the volume of requests received, the park cannot confirm receipt of requests until they have been fully processed. Expect at least three weeks for processing.
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