If you want to camp anywhere in other than developed campgrounds on the rims of Grand Canyon National Park you need a permit from Backcountry. There are three ways to apply. You can obtain a form and instructions for submitting requests on line. Then you can fax or mail your request. Or, you can go in person to the park’s Backcountry Information Center.
North Kaibab Trail
The earliest allowable time to request permits is on the first of the month, four months prior to the proposed hiking start date. There is a non-refundable fee of $10 per permit plus $5 per person per night camped below the rim.
The Box in Bright Angel Canyon
I got a permit for October 13th at Cottonwood campground, the 14th at Bright Angel campground near Phantom Ranch, and the 15th at Indian Garden. Two friends from Washington are joining me on this fall hike. Yes, it’s the same itinerary I hiked this spring during training except we stayed at the Phantom Ranch NPS bunkhouse.
These permits are not always easy to get, even as a Ranger I have to apply the same way as everyone else. Each year Grand Canyon NP receives about 30,000 requests for backcountry permits and issues only 13,000 permits for close to 40,000 people to camp overnight in the backcountry. So if you want to hike in the canyon plan ahead.
Looking up towards the South Rim and Bright Angel Trail