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Canyonlands National Park The Latest To Move To Online Backcountry Permitting


Add Canyonlands National Park to the growing list of parks that are moving their backcountry permitting process to the Internet.

The system, through a web portal designed specifically for Canyonlands, is handling reservations for all park backcountry permits and Needles District group campsites. The new system replaces the previous method of faxing or mailing reservation application forms and also offers site availability calendars.

Reservations can be made no more than four months, and no less than two days, in advance for the following backcountry permits:

* Backpacking

* Four-wheel-drive/Mountain Bike Camping (e.g. sites along the White Rim Road)

* Four-wheel-drive Day Use (e.g. Salt/Horse or Lavender Canyons)

* Needles District Frontcountry Group Sites (e.g. Split Top, Wooden Shoe, and Squaw Flat)

* River Trips (Cataract Canyon and Flat Water Trips)

Slots not reserved in advance will be made available in person at the park’s visitor centers and central reservation office on a first-come, first-served basis. Sites will not be set aside to accommodate these in-person permit requests, so reservations are highly recommended.

Fees are based both on the activity and the number of people in your group. For instance, a group of seven backpackers heading into either the Island in the Sky or Needles districts would be charged a flat $30 for the entire group for up to 14 days (but only seven days at any one site). If you want to head into the Maze District, that $30 covers a maximum of five in your group.

In a pricing move that could stir some debate, a group of three four-wheel drive vehicles with 15 people heading into the Island in the Sky District would pay that same $30 fee. A 4WD group with three vehicles and 10 people would also be charged that same $30 fee, as would a 4WD group with nine people and three vehicles heading into the Maze District.

To learn more about the new system, visit this site.


Good. This may actually make it easier to obtain backcountry permits for the park. Permits have always been required, but obtaining one required some real gymnastics.

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