Yellowstone National Park Backcountry Permits

Yellowstone National Park

Hosting over 4 million visits annually, Yellowstone is the world’s first National Park preserving more than 10,000 hydrothermal features and countless wildlife including bison, grizzly bears, gray wolves, elk, and moose. The park forms the core of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of the world’s largest, nearly intact temperate-zone ecosystems. 

Beyond the roads, boardwalks, and developed areas, Yellowstone National Park offers a diverse, mountainous landscape that invites exploration by foot, pack stock, and boat. With over 1,000 miles of trail, 293 designated campsites, and 3 lakes accessible for boating there are ample opportunities for adventure and solitude.

Permit & Season Information

A permit is required year-round for all overnight stays in the backcountry. A backcountry permit allows the permit holder and their group to camp in a designated campsite. 

You may stay up to 3 consecutive nights at any one campsite unless otherwise noted in the campsite description. Each campsite has a limit to the number of people, stock, and boats permitted. 

Peak Season (May 15-October 31): permits are available through the early access lottery (see important dates), the general on-sale (open April 26-October 31), or in-person at a backcountry office. Reservations obtained through the early access lottery and general on-sale must be picked up in person at a backcountry permit office within 2-days of the trip start date.

Non-Peak Season (November 1-May 14): permits for the dates of November 1 through May 14 are available beginning October 6. Permits may be printed or downloaded at home within 5-days of the trip start date after discussing with backcountry office staff.

Need to Know

This website provides access to view availability and to secure reservations for permits. Pre-planning using the Yellowstone National Park website , and other resources and guidebooks is encouraged.

When planning your trip, please keep the following in mind:

Early Season


Stock Use

Fee Policy

Early Access Lottery Application Fee: $10 non-refundable. The application fee is charged for all applications to the Early Access Lottery regardless of success.

Recreation Fee: $5 per person, per night plus a $10 non-refundable reservation fee (if the reservation was booked through the lottery, the $10 non-refundable reservation fee will not apply since you have already paid the $10 non-refundable lottery application fee). The recreation fee is charged year-round for permits secured through this website or in-person at a backcountry office.

Entry into Yellowstone National Park requires a fee or pass

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Policy: Reservations cancelled 3 or more full days before the reservation start date receive a full refund of the recreation (per-person, per-night) fee. Reservations cancelled less than 3 days before the reservation start date are non-refundable. The $10 reservation fee is non-refundable.  

Change Policy: you may make changes to your permit itinerary (campsite locations), if space is available, up to two days before your reservation date. You may make changes to your group size and group member names up to the time your permit is issued. Additional fees may apply.  

Your start date cannot be changed without cancelling your existing reservation and booking a new reservation. 

One additional permit holder can be identified when the reservation is created. Otherwise, reservations and permits are non-transferrable.

Contact Information

Mailing Address

PO Box 168 Yellowstone Natl Pk WY 82190

Phone Number

(307) 344-2160

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