grand canyon campingIf you have a desire to experience Grand Canyon camping in locations other than the developed campgrounds located on the North and South Rim of the national park, you will be required to obtain a Backcountry Permit for your Grand Canyon vacation. While located in these wild areas of the park, you must have this special permit in your possession at all times. Once you have established a location where you will enjoy your Grand Canyon camping adventure, the permit that you have obtained to do so must be attached to your tent, your camping pack, or the equipment that you possess so that it is in plain view for the park rangers to observe. If you are a traveler that is seeking to experience the ultimate Grand Canyon camping adventure, continue reading for more valuable information pertaining to the Backcountry Permit.

What is the Backcountry Permit All About?

If you have a desire to camp outside the designated locations on your Grand Canyon vacation, you must obtain a Backcountry Permit, which is issued by the Grand Canyon Backcountry Management Plan. Essentially, this permit allows you to use undeveloped regions of the national park. The Plan that governs the permit defines a wide array of policies which are designed to manage the use of these areas and protect the resources of the national park. There are approximately 1,215,735 acres within the park, which consists of the Canyon region, the North Rim, and the South Rim. Approximately 1,179,700 of those acres are designated as being “Backcountry”. In order to enjoy your Grand Canyon vacation by camping in one of these designated locations, a permit is necessary.

The Regulations

In order to enjoy your Grand Canyon camping adventure in the undeveloped regions of the national park, you will be expected to follow regulations upon receiving your Backcountry Permit. These are as follows:

  • The permit is required by any and all individuals that will be using the backcountry regions of the national park overnight. The permit must be kept in possession while in the designated regions. Individuals that possess this permit must abide by all of the closures, activities, and restrictions as imposed by the national park while traveling in and around the backcountry areas.
  • The permit for your Grand Canyon vacation in the backcountry area is only valid by those designated at the time the permit was obtained.
  • Trash and toilet paper is not to be left in the area. When you leave, you must take these items with you.
  • If you will use the backcountry region for commercial use, you must obtain an Authorization for Commercial Use.
  • No fires are permitted; however, you may use Sterno and/or fossil fuel stoves.
  • Soap should not be used within 100 feet of a designated source of water.
  • Wildlife should not be fed, handled, or bothered in any way, whatsoever.
  • Rocks and other items should not be thrown or rolled, at any location.
  • Trails should not be created and/or left behind.
  • The natural state of the environment should not be bothered, manipulated, or altered in any way, whatsoever.
  • Motorized vehicles may not be used on trails located below the Rim region.
  • Traps, nets, and similar items are not allowed; however, if a fishing license is obtained, fishing items may be taken and used in the backcountry area on your Grand Canyon camping trip.
  • If you wish to explore caves or mines, it must be approved.


In order to obtain a Backcountry Permit for your Grand Canyon camping trip, you must first fill out a “Backcountry Permit Request”. You may then fax it to 928-638-2125 or mail it to 1824 S. Thompson St. Suite 201 Flagstaff, AZ 86001. There are two information centers available for more facts pertaining to the Backcountry Permit. The first is located on the North Rim and is open from 8AM -12PM and 1PM-5PM MST from mid-May to October 31st. The second is located on the South Rim, with the same hours. If you prefer to call for information, you may call from 8AM-5PM each Monday-Friday, minus federal-based holidays. The telephone number is 928-638-7875. If you are ready to enjoy a spectacular and unique Grand Canyon camping adventure, grab your permit and discover the undeveloped regions of the national park today!