Needing a Backcountry Wilderness Permit

Getting a wilderness backpacking permit to camp in the Olympic National Park backcountry can be confusing and complicated. During planning the planning stages of the adventure, a hiker can be easily puzzled about the rules and regulations of the Park. This is not an easy task to face, for someone visiting from out of the area. What is one to do?

Easy Steps to Pre-Trip Success

Step: 1 - Grab a wilderness backcountry map. Being familiar with the area you want to visit, will make getting a permit that much easier.

Step: 2 - Check the backcountry conditions. You might not want to hike the trail, if it is in poor shape. Check road access. You might not even be able to get to the trailhead.


Do I Need a Reservation?

It's simple! Staying in a quota area (marked by red shading and red tents on map referenced above) during peak visitors season? Yes, you must have a ranger printed permit. - Camping anywhere else in the Park year around? No reservation required if you avoid crowded quota areas. Avoiding the crowds allows you to use a self register permit as well.

Two Physical Locations to get a Permit on the Olympic Peninsula (2017)

These locations are a few hours drive from Seattle (Seatac).

What About Protecting my Food in Camp?

Yes, bear canisters are required in some areas and suggested in others. There is a high possibility that something smaller than a bear will eat your food. Especially when you are camping in areas that get a lot of visitors. The mice populations are very healthy!

Headed out? Be sure to read up on further details on permits.

Updated by Barefoot Jake in February 2017