Backcountry camping

Shelters and tents at Coffee Pot Landing on the Mississippi River. Photo by Mark Wagner.


Backcountry campsites in Minnesota state parks are not accessible by motor vehicle and are a half mile or more from a parking area. They do not have electricity, and are a popular option for backpackers, paddlers, and bicyclists.

Backcountry sites typically have primitive toilet facilities and water, a tent pad, and a fire ring. Some have a picnic table and a grill on the fire ring, and a few have shelters.

Seasonal availability varies by park. Pets are allowed but must be leashed and attended at all times.

Coming to the park? Know the "key three":

  1. Plan ahead. Buy your vehicle permit in advance to minimize person-to-person contact. Record your confirmation number and place it on your car's dashboard. If you'll be skiing on groomed trails, buy your ski pass in advance too.
  2. Arrive prepared. Buildings and warming shelters may not be open. Dress appropriately for the weather, and bring extra supplies with you.
  3. Follow the rules. Continue to follow all COVID-related guidance listed in the Outdoor Recreation Guidelines. Pay attention to signs, stay home if you feel sick, try to recreate only with members of your immediate household, and practice social distancing--even outdoors.

Call 866-857-2757

October - March
8 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday
April - September
8 a.m. - 8 p.m., Daily

Call center is closed holidays.
Reservations policy and FAQ

Make a reservation

Online reservations can be made up to 120 days in advance, 24 hours a day, except for the first day a reservation becomes available. On that first day, reservations cannot be made online before 8 a.m.

Make a reservation »

A non-refundable reservation fee ($10.00 for call center/$7.00 for web) is charged for each advance reservation.


Locations and fees

Rate is per site, per night, and includes tax. 
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