How to Get a Grand Canyon Backcountry Permit

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:

  • Bring your request to the Backcountry Information Center, located inside the park on both the South Rim and the North Rim
  • Fax your request anytime to the Backcountry Information Center, 928-638-2125
  • Mail request to Grand Canyon National Park, Permits Office, 1824 S. Thompson St., Suite 201, Flagstaff AZ, 86001
  • Permit requests are not accepted by telephone or by email.

    When to Apply

    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.

    A backcountry permit is required for:
  • overnight camping outside of Mather Campground, Desert View Campground, and North Rim Campground
  • overnight camping at the Tuweep Campground group site (holds 7 to 11 people)
  • overnight camping anywhere on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park between Nov 1 - May 14 (includes ski-camping)
  • off-river camping by river trip participants
  • overnight camping with private stock outside of Mather Campground or outside of North Rim Campground (May 15 – Oct 31)
  • packrafting, other than that which occurs under a river permit
  • A backcountry permit is NOT required for:
  • day hikes (this includes nighttime "day" hikes)
  • day stock rides
  • overnight camping at Mather Campground and Desert View Campground (campground reservations for Mather Campground at www.recreation.gov)
  • overnight camping at North Rim Campground between May 15 – Oct 31 (campground reservations at www.recreation.gov)
  • overnight camping at Tuweep Campground for sites that hold 1 to 6 people
  • overnight camping with private stock at Mather Campground or (May 15 – Oct 31) North Rim Campground
  • overnight stays at the dormitories or cabins at Phantom Ranch (advanced reservations with Grand Canyon National Park Lodges required)

  • Wildland Trekking

    Wildland Trekking

    Go on an epic journey to the Grand Canyon! Services include 1 to 8 day hiking adventures, tasty backcountry cuisine, and quality gear served up by America's most experienced and knowledgeable Grand Canyon guides. 25+ years experience in adventure travel.

    Grand Canyon Expeditions

    Grand Canyon Expeditions

    The Grand Canyon is one of the wonders of the world, and what better way to see it than from its heart, on a Colorado river rafting trip? This unique trip down the Grand Canyon ranges from running world-class rapids to hiking and swimming in the side canyons to investigating the remains le
    The Grand Canyon is one of the wonders of the world, and what better way to see it than from its heart, on a Colorado river rafting trip? This unique trip down the Grand Canyon ranges from running world-class rapids to hiking and swimming in the side canyons to investigating the remains left by the first inhabitants of the Grand Canyon. Let our experienced guides show you the wonders of the Grand Canyon. This is not a tour of the Grand Canyon, it's an adventure!

    Bright Angel Trail Day Hike Tour

    Bright Angel Trail Day Hike Tour

    Our Bright Angel Trail day hike offers a tour with many options for length and difficulty, and it has shade, water and bathrooms roughly every 1.5 miles up and down. On the longer side, we can hike to Plateau Point which is a wonderful option for the fittest and most adventurous of visitor
    Our Bright Angel Trail day hike offers a tour with many options for length and difficulty, and it has shade, water and bathrooms roughly every 1.5 miles up and down. On the longer side, we can hike to Plateau Point which is a wonderful option for the fittest and most adventurous of visitors. And on the shorter side, we can hike to one of the rest houses for a moderate, stunningly beautiful hike. So for families, couples, and solo travelers, of an adventure and fitness level, this hike has a lot to offer!

    South Kaibab Day Hike Tour

    South Kaibab Day Hike Tour

    Wildland Trekking's expert guides are the best in the business, which is why we are the #1 rated Outdoor Activity at Grand Canyon National Park on Trip Advisor. We will show you the best of the South Rim by pointing out amazing landmarks, teaching you about the history and geology of the G
    Wildland Trekking's expert guides are the best in the business, which is why we are the #1 rated Outdoor Activity at Grand Canyon National Park on Trip Advisor. We will show you the best of the South Rim by pointing out amazing landmarks, teaching you about the history and geology of the Grand Canyon, and helping you vastly increase the safety of your hike with expert guidance and preparation. Enjoy a wonderful picnic lunch, tasty snacks, excellent gear and passionate, educated, professional guides!

    Grand Canyon Hike & Sightseeing Tour

    Grand Canyon Hike & Sightseeing Tour

    Enjoy a great tour with a knowledgeable, friendly, enthusiastic guide who loves what they do. We provide door-to-door service from your stay place with everything you need to have a great time. Grab your camera and leave the lunch, snacks, beverages, hiking equipment, and driving to us!

    Enjoy a great tour with a knowledgeable, friendly, enthusiastic guide who loves what they do. We provide door-to-door service from your stay place with everything you need to have a great time. Grab your camera and leave the lunch, snacks, beverages, hiking equipment, and driving to us! We pick up in the following towns: Flagstaff, Williams, Tusayan, and Grand Canyon.

    Currently, the Park Service is not allowing us to mix groups due to COVID-19 safety procedures, so we are unable to provide this tour for less than 4 people. If you have a smaller group, please reach out to our company directly to discuss other options. By far our most popular hiking tour, this hike and sightseeing tour offers guests varying views of the Canyon, from the inside out. This tour is for guests who want to enjoy an excellent tour of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, but also spend some time below the Rim.


    More TOURS IN Grand Canyon

    From $113.39
    Duration: 2 hours
    From $304.00
    Duration: 4 to 8 hours
    From $271.80
    Duration: 7 to 9 hours

    YOU MIGHT ALSO BE INTERESTED IN...