BOULDER, Colo., (March 8, 2021) – Starting March 16, 2021, Indian Peaks Wilderness backcountry permits will be available for purchase at Recreation.gov. Through the new system, customers will be able to view permit availability, book a reservation, pay online, print permits, and manage reservations from one account.
Permits are required for all overnight camping in Indian Peaks Wilderness Area from June 1 to Sept. 15 and are always required for groups of 8-12 people.
The Recreation.gov site, which is currently visible to the public, will allow visitors to view permit availability ahead of time, making it easier for them to plan their itineraries. It will add convenience, providing the opportunity to purchase permits on weekends and evenings, even when the district offices are closed. Permits will no longer be issued by mail, phone or in person.
Anyone considering a visit to Indian Peaks Wilderness Area should first do extensive research. Most of the wilderness area is in the high alpine zone where snowpack lasts into July and severe weather conditions can be expected year-round. Many of the routes involve strenuous and technical hiking. Hikers and campers should be well equipped with the appropriate footwear, clothing and safety gear and should be experienced in backcountry camping techniques, including Leave No Trace principles. Food storage containers are strongly encouraged.
The Recreation.gov page includes important links to detailed information about Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, including camping regulations, trail descriptions and maps. Once on the website, search “Indian Peaks Wilderness” to book small groups (1-7 people) and large groups (8-12 people). Be sure to review the Indian Peaks Wilderness backcountry zone map, to determine what zones to book and read through all the available information about Wilderness regulations and trail descriptions.
To be prepared, those interested in booking a wilderness camping trip this summer should set up an account with Recreation.gov in advance. Starting at 8 a.m. March 16, reservations will be available for the entire season. A portion of permits (25 percent) will be made available on a rolling basis starting at 8 a.m. three days in advance. Permits cost $11 (The backcountry permit costs $5 per party per trip. Recreation.gov charges a $6 reservation fee per trip.)
Visitors will be able to make modifications to an existing permit if circumstances change. Once a permit has been printed, modifications will no longer be allowed. While modifications are free, no refunds are provided for cancelations or changing trip start dates.
Indian Peaks Wilderness Area is a popular destination for recreation opportunities in the Front Range. The area’s proximity to the Denver Metro area makes it one of the most visited Wilderness areas in the country. To preserve the area’s wilderness character, a permit system has been in place for overnight camping since 1985.