Photo Credit: sankai (iStock).

Photo Credit: sankai (iStock).

You'll need to win a lottery to camp in the backcountry at one of the most visited national parks in the country – Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Officials announced on Thursday morning that Rocky Mountain National Park was moving to a lottery system for overnight backpacking camping permits, offered from July to October 2021.

Starting on Tuesday morning, the park will randomize and draw the first group of names. Winners of the lottery will then be granted access to the application for camping in the backcountry. Trip requests can me made for anytime in July, August, September, and October. 

The reservation request window for May and June is currently closed. 

"This drawing submission is not a race, will be selected randomly, not in the order received, and can be done at your leisure from now until Sunday, March 21, at 5:00 PM mountain time," officials stated in the announcement. 

The announcement comes after the permitting website crashed for a second time in less than two weeks due to popular demand.

The entry period for the permit draw will be open until 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 21st, with a limit of one permit per household.

To enter the drawing, you'll need to send an email to the park with the subject line "Backpacking Camping Random Drawing," and your first and last name only in the body of the email. 

Make sure to check your junk folder. If you do not receive an email back from the park, your name was not drawn. The timing of future drawings will be based on the volume of applicants.

It's also important to note that the drawing is for overnight backpacking camping permits only. This system does not apply for camping reservations in park campgrounds accessed by vehicles. Park entrance fees still apply.

For further information about Rocky Mountain National Park please visit or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.


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