Wilderness Backpacking Reservations

Wilderness/backpacking permits are required year-round in Olympic National Park.


  • All permits are created through Recreation.gov, most of which are self-booked by wilderness users. If you are having trouble booking a trip online yourself, contact the Port Angeles Wilderness Information Center during business hours for assistance at (360) 565-3100.

    • All Wilderness backpacking permits must be obtained in advance by self-booking online, calling the number above, or coming into a Wilderness Information Center in-person. There are no longer paper self-registration permits available at trailheads.

  • Permit reservations for the summer season (May 15th through October 15th) will be released on April 15th, at 7:00 AM Pacific Time. Some quota areas, such as the Sol Duc / Seven Lakes Basin, have a narrower season based upon snow conditions. If you are attempting to book early season dates that are not showing available online, please contact the Wilderness Information Center at (360) 565 3100.

  • Some areas operate on a quota basis, such as Sol Duc / Seven Lakes Basin, Grand Valley, Royal Lake, the Cape Alava / Sand Point area, and others. Consult the Olympic Wilderness Trip Planner Map to determine which sites are quota sites. These will be color coded red/yellow.

  • Camp area availability is updated real time on Recreation.gov, and no sites are held as same-day walk-ups.

  • Reservations for permits made over a week in advance are issued by staff around 5-7 days before the start of your trip.

    • Please note - If the reservation is made less than a week in advance, permits are typically issued within the business hours of the same day or the following morning. If you need a permit before then, visit a Wilderness Information Center or contact us by phone.

  • Once the permit reservation has been issued, you will be able to log in to your account and print the permit yourself.

 

Some areas operate on a quota basis, such as Sol Duc / Seven Lakes Basin, Grand Valley, Royal Lake, the Cape Alava / Sand Point area, and others. No additional availability will open for these areas. Consult the Olympic Wilderness Trip Planner Map to determine which sites are quota sites. These will be color coded red/yellow.

Quota Area:
For the following wilderness camp areas, overnight use limits are in effect to help minimize human impacts and provide a quality wilderness experience. These limitations are reflected in the availability of groups and backpackers listed on the Recreation.gov website.

100% of the quota may be reserved in advance for:

Important information about reservations & quota areas:

  • Camping is only permitted in designated sites within quota areas.
  • In quota areas, deviation from your permit itinerary is not allowed, except in cases of emergency.
  • Campsites at larger camp areas are not individually assigned but are first-come, first-served for permit holders.
  • In other areas (brown campsites on Trip Planner Map), permits are not limited and can be reserved through Recreation.gov or picked up at a permit office. Campsites are first-come, first-served.
  • Visit the Olympic National Park Wilderness Permits page on Recreation.gov for current permit availability.

  • Visit the Olympic National Park Wilderness Permits page on Recreation.gov to make a reservation.

  • Permit reservations for the summer season (May 15th through October 15th) will be released on April 15th, at 7:00 AM PST. Some quota areas, such as the Sol Duc / Seven Lakes Basin, have a narrower season based upon snow conditions. If you are attempting to book early season dates that are not available online, please contact the Wilderness Information Center at (360) 565 3100.
  • While many camp areas will be reservable year round, reservations for high elevation areas will be limited to a shorter summer season (typically mid July until mid October). If you are attempting a high elevation route outside of the summer season, please contact the WIC directly at (360) 565-3100.
  • If you would like to book a cross country trip (e.g. Bailey Range) or a campsite that is not listed on Recreation.gov, please contact the WIC at (360) 565-3100.
  • For current wilderness conditions, please visit the trail conditions page.

Fee Policies:
Recreation Fee:

  • Adults (16 and older) - $8 per person per night

  • Youth (15 and under) - free

  • Annual Olympic National Park Wilderness Pass – free for pass holder only

Reservation Fee:

  • A $6.00 non-refundable reservation fee is required for each overnight permit reserved including Annual Olympic National Park Wilderness Pass holders.

 

Cancellation & Change Policies:
Cancellation Policy:

  • If you cancel your reservation 7 or more days in advance of your trip your camping fee will be refunded, but not the flat $6 reservation fee. If canceled within 7 days there is no refund. The first day of your trip is not included in the 7 day window.

Change Policy:

  • You can change your party size or campsite location, if space is available, until the day before your trip or before a Wilderness Information Center issues your permit. Permits are typically issued 3-7 days before a trip. Additional fees may apply. Once your permit is issued only a ranger at a Wilderness Information Center can make changes. Call or email the Wilderness Information Center to modify an issued permit. Due to Covid-19 and limited staffing last minute changes may not be possible.

No Show Policy:

  • If you do not cancel and decide not to use your reservation, none of the fees will be refunded. Please cancel your reservation if you are unable to use it as this opens quota space for others.

Olympic National Park Annual Wilderness Pass:

  • The Olympic National Park Annual Wilderness Pass is $45 per person. The pass covers per night camping fees for 12 months from the month of purchase for the individual pass holder; permits and reservations are still required for pass holders.
  • Annual Olympic National Park Wilderness Pass holders do not have to pay the $8 per person per night fee. However, the Wilderness Pass does not cover the flat $6 reservation fee.
  • Wilderness Annual Passes can be purchased at the following website: https://pay.gov/public/form/start/129856631
    • If your mailing address is different than the billing address you use for the purchase, email us at OLYM_WIC@nps.gov with the address you would like the pass(es) sent to.

How Wilderness Permit Fees are used

  • Wilderness use fees help support visitor management projects like trail maintenance, pit toilets, revegetation projects, and Wilderness Information Centers.

On March 18, 2019 Wilderness online permit reservations were implemented on Recreation.gov. Below is some regarding this program.

About Recreation.gov

  • Recreation.gov is the online reservation system used for permits and camping for over 3,500 federal land management facilities. 

  • In addition to wilderness camping permits, Olympic NP currently utilizes Recreation.gov at several front country campgrounds and for purchasing Olympic National Park entrance passes.


About Online Wilderness Permits at OLYM

  • The Recreation.gov reservation system allows backpackers to check the availability of sites in real time, plan their trip and receive immediate confirmation, and streamline the park's wilderness permit reservations.

  • Self-booked reservations are accepted online at www.recreation.gov

Permit Fee Breakdown

  • Wilderness camping fees are $8 per person per night for those 16 or older (15 and younger are free) plus a $6 permit fee. For example, the fee for 2 adults camping for 4 nights will be $70 ($64 camping fee + $6 reservation fee).
  • The $6 reservation fee is to cover the Recreation.gov contract cost to maintain the permit system.

  • Olympic Annual Wilderness Passes are $45 per person. Wilderness Passes cover one individual's per night camping fees for 12 months from the month of purchase; permits and reservations are still required with Wilderness passes.

  • Annual Olympic National Park Wilderness Pass holders do not have to pay the $8 per person per night fee. However the Wilderness Pass does not cover the flat $6 reservation fee.

  • Wilderness Passes can be purchased online at Pay.gov or over the phone by calling any Wilderness Information Center during open hours and the pass will be mailed to you.  Please note that this web location is only for the sale of $45 passes.  All backpacking permits have to be booked through Recreation.gov.  

  • Wilderness Camping Permit Change and Refund Policy. You may make changes in Recreation.gov to your permit up to 2 days in advance of your trip and your camping fee will be adjusted accordingly. If you cancel your trip up to 7 days in advance of your trip your camping fee will be refunded, but not the $6 reservation fee. If canceled within 7 days there is no refund.

 
  • Please note: bear canisters are required in many Wilderness camp areas. Bear canisters are available for loan on a first-come, first-served basis to anyone with a backpacking permit.
  • For current wilderness conditions, visit the trail conditions page.
  • Remember Leave No Trace ethics to help protect the park and keep the backcountry pristine.

 
Mountain lake
Lunch Lake -Seven Lakes Basin

NPS Photo Brendan Fluckiger

Last updated: January 5, 2024

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600 E. Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362

Phone:

360 565-3130

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