We have been granted a backcountry permit in Yosemite. The permit allows the use of backpacker's camp sites near the trailhead on the day before and after the dates of the permit. We'd like to stay in the backpacker's campground on the night before our permit starts, but we're planning to arrive at the park after the permit office closes.

Can we use our permit confirmation to stay at the backpacker's campground or do we need our full permit?

  • 3
    If you don't get a firm answer here, I'd give a wilderness ranger a call (see the bottom of the page): 209/372-0826. They're pretty helpful toward people who want to do the right thing. Jul 2, 2018 at 7:04
  • 5
    See also The Great Outdoors Stack Exchange, where you will likely find relevant expertise. You'll probably need your permit, as often when you exchange a permit confirmation for a full permit, they'll first show you videos (such as about bear safety) and make sure you are aware of leave no trace principles. You might have to stay at a frontcountry campground further out.
    – gerrit
    Jul 2, 2018 at 10:48
  • Wow thank you both! had never heard of the great outdoors stack exchange. will check it out! And I'll post the ranger response. Jul 2, 2018 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


We ended up calling the wilderness center.

You can stay in the backpacker's sites as long as you have the confirmation email on you - you can pick up the permit in the morning.

Printed or on your phone is fine - just make sure you can access it even if you don't have reception! Thanks all.

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