Back Country Permits in the Grand Canyon

A Grand Canyon backcountry permit is required for the following:

    Essentially, any overnight trip below the rim requires a permit.
  • Overnight hiking
  • Overnight horseback riding
  • Overnight cross-country ski trips
  • Off-river overnight hikes by river trip members
  • Overnight camping at rim sites other than developed campgrounds
  • Overnight camping on the North Rim during the winter season

A backcountry permit is not required for:

  • day hiking
  • day horseback riding
  • overnight camping at Mather Campground, Desert View Campground, North Rim Campground (summer season only), and Tuweep Campground
  • overnight stays at the dormitories or cabins at Phantom Ranch (advanced reservations with Xanterra Parks & Resorts required)

You must have your permit in your possession anytime your are in the backcountry. Once you establis a camp, your permit must be attached to a pack, tent, or other equipment in plain view so it can be easily checked by rangers.

The permit is valid for your trip leader and for the exact itinerary, number of people, and dates specified. Permits for all overnight backcountry use must be obtained through the Backcountry Information Center at Grand Canyon National Park.

Reservations for overnight tent or RV camping in developed use areas on the canyon rims (Mather, Desert View, North Rim) are not obtained through the Backcountry Information Center. Be advised that the Backcountry Information Center does not make reservations for Colorado river trips, mule trips, Phantom Ranch lodging, or trips to the Havasupai Reservation.

For additional information on back country permits or reservations for Phantom Ranch lodging, please contact Xanterra Parks and Resorts at 303-297-2757 or 888-297-2757.

The Grand Canyon National Park's unique ecosystem starts in the high desert of the Kaibab Plateau and then as you hike through the parki you to will travel through several climates and habitats. The park is also home for a large and diverse animal population and plant life. Two of the more unique animals are the California Condor and Big Horn Sheep. As you travel the park you'll see Ponderosa Pine and Juniper.

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