Permits car camping Grand Staircase Escalante NM?


Aug 18, 2018
Newbie questions.... we expect to do some dispersed car camping within Grand Staircase Escalante NM on our upcoming trip.

1) Do we need to get car camping permits at the BLM office in Escalante if we stay overnight within GSENM?

2) If yes- how strict are the the permits? I don't know exactly where we end up stopping and the dispersed camping could be spread out over a 2 week period. Do they issue permits valid for instance for 2 weeks somewhere within GSENM? Or is it very strict: "this specific spot on October 28"?

1) Yes, but not necessarily at the VC. You can self-issue permits from most trailhead registers and some POI's like Devil's Garden.

2) Not strict at all. You can just put in the dates and your rough itinerary. It's not specific to any spots.
1) Yes, but not necessarily at the VC. You can self-issue permits from most trailhead registers and some POI's like Devil's Garden.

2) Not strict at all. You can just put in the dates and your rough itinerary. It's not specific to any spots.

Thanks Nick! It's coming back to me, we did use some self-issue "recreation fee permit envelopes" a couple of times at POI. I didn't realize, it's the same envelopes used for dispersed camping- all good.
Last I checked there weren't envelopes in GSENM. Just a pad with permits that you write on that pushes through to the next page to make a copy. You keep the back one (pink?) and you stick the white one in the slot in the kiosk. And there are no fees either for these particular permits.
Ok, thanks for clarifying @Nick . Clearly the free permits you describe for dispersed camping are different than the paid permits we previously used in specific areas requiring a recreation fee.

I was confused with the yellow BLM envelopes we used for day use at the Lower Calf Creek Falls area and also for camping at the Deer Creek campground off Burr trail road, they look like this:

Just came across these photos from our trip...: the free backpacking or car camping permits for Grand Staircase.
Either self-issue at most trailheads (as @Nick mentioned above) or at the visitor center in Escalante. Saw this one at the Escalante River TH.



(Other paid areas like Lower Calf Creek Falls and Deer Creek CG have the yellow fee envelop mentioned previously)
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