Backcountry skiers near Canyon Village in spring. Photo: Jacob W. Frank // NPS

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. — Visitors to Yellowstone National Park will soon be able to make advance online reservations for backcountry permits, but they will pay more than in years past.

Beginning spring 2022, advance reservations will enable visitors to plan their trips ahead of time and provide assurance they will have a permit for their chosen itinerary upon arrival. The new system is a response to public requests for an online backcountry permit reservation system.

Additionally, backcountry permit fees will increase beginning March 1, 2022. This will be the first increase since fees were implemented in 2015.

The three options for obtaining a backcountry permit include:

  • Early Access Lottery- The Early Access Lottery application period will go live on March 1, 2022, and will end March 20, 2022. This lottery is based on a fair and randomized process to provide an equal opportunity for each applicant to be selected. If selected, successful lottery applicants will be assigned a date and time to book their proposed reservation online during the Early Access Period from April 1 through April 24. Participants are limited to a single reservation during the Early Access Period but may create additional reservations beginning April 26.
  • General Permits- On April 26, remaining permits for open campsites will be available on
  • Walk-up Permits- These permits will be available on a first-come, first-served basis up to 48 hours in advance. Walk-up Permits cannot be reserved online in advance or through the Call Center.

Early Access Lottery and General Permits will account for approximately 75% of permits issued for the season. The remaining permits will be available as Walk-up Permits.

Backcountry permit fees

  • There will be a $10 application fee for the Early Access Lottery. This fee is charged for all applications to the lottery regardless of success. Successful applicants will pay a $5 per-person, per-night permit fee.
  • For General Permits and Walk-up Permits, the cost will be $5 per person, per night plus a $10 reservation fee.
  • The Yellowstone Annual Backcountry Pass will be available through for $50. The pass exempts the individual pass holder from the $5 per person, per-night permit fee.

Permits are required for all overnight stays in the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park.

Caroline Chapman is a Community News Reporter. She's a lover of alliteration, easy-to-follow recipes and board games when everyone knows the rules. Her favorite aspect about living in the Tetons is the collective admiration that Wyomingites share for the land and the life that it sustains.