According to the National Park Service, visitors who want to camp in the backcountry of Grand Canyon National Park will be able to book and pay for their sites through Recreation.gov starting in 2024. It is anticipated that the new system will “streamline the backcountry permitting process”.
Currently, visitors to the park who wish to camp outside of the developed campgrounds at the North Rim or South Rim must complete a form and submit it in person, by mail, or by fax, to the Backcountry Information Center.
“Moving our backcountry permits to Recreation.gov has many important advantages for the public and our staff,” Park Superintendent Ed Keable said in a statement. “We are pleased to be able to offer this improved system that will allow for improved visitor planning and experience”.
Similar to the current process, reservations for the backcountry can be requested up to four months in advance through the early access lottery when the application system is online.
Permits will cost $10 per permit or lottery application beginning next year. In addition, there will be a $12 per person per night fee for all locations below the rim and a $4 per person fee for all areas above the rim. Currently, travelers pay $12 per person per night for camping below the rim and $12 per group per night for camping above the rim. Permit applications cost $10.
The lengthy waiting period for permission approval, which the NPS says can take up to a month under the current method, will also be eliminated by the new online system.
The NPS issued just over 12,400 permits for backcountry camping last year. The park also issues a limited number of last-minute camping permits to visitors at Cottonwood, Bright Angel, and Havasupai Gardens.