Is Baxter State Park Open for Camping?

Is Baxter State Park Open for Camping

Camping is one of the best things you can do in Baxter Park. With all the magnificent scenery and vast area of use, Baxter Park deserves to be one of the best spots for camping. All facilities and services are well-catered, so you can enjoy your trip to the fullest!

Can I Camp Anywhere in Baxter State Park?

Camp Anywhere in Baxter State Park
Camp in Baxter State Park

Baxter Park offers a wide range of destinations for camping, with various different views, including front-country at the roadside campground and backcountry camping further away. Not only has the most poetic sceneries, the accommodations and services in Baxter Park are also the best of both worlds.

The wide range of choices, including cabins, shared bunkhouse, tent sites, and lean-tos, all of the things you need for a great trip, accommodating from a single person to a large group. Let’s take a look at the information about these accommodations before you make a reservation:

CAMPGROUNDSeason DatesLean-TosTent SitesBunkhouse CapacityCabinsGroup Sites
Roaring Brook15th May – 15th October910103
Dec 1 -31st March910103
Abol15th May – 15th October129
Dec 1 -31st March129
Katahdin StreamMay 15 – Oct. 151293
Dec 1 -31st March1293
Daisey Pond15th May – 15th October10
Dec 1 -31st March10
Kidney Pond15th May – 15th October12
Dec 1 -31st March12
Nesowadnehunk FieldFriday before Memorial Day- 15th October11943
Dec 1 -31st March11943
South Branch Pond15th May – 15th October12218
Dec 1 -31st March12218
Trout Brook FarmFriday before Memorial Day – 15th October1144
Dec 1 -31st March11444
Chimney Pond1st June – 15th October910
Dec 1 -31st March910
Russell Pond15th May – 15th October538
Dec 1 -31st March538
Togue Pond1st December -31st March6
Backcountry SitesVariable
Katahdin Lake Wilderness CampMay – October and January – March

What is the Fee for Baxter State Park?

Daicey Pond, Baxter State Park
Baxter State Park Camping Fees

Another thing you should know about camping in Baxter Park is the fees. All the costs are reasonable and suitable for all visitors here. The fee shall be following the booking requests; taxes are also included. The accepted currency for the payment is in U.S. funds.

Visa, MasterCard, cash order, and cheque are accepted payment methods in the summertime. Visitors should remember that only cash is payable inside the Park, including campgrounds and gates. You can pay the fee anytime in the year if you are not official partners with the Park.

In typical cases, no refund is made available. Still, the Park Director may allow a refund with special requirements. No personal fee will be charged for children at 6 years old and small.

For winter and summer camping, the accommodation fee will have differences. All the prices are listed in the table before for your personal check:

Winter Camping Fees

Lean-to and Tent$17 per night
Bunkhouse $20 per person
Chimney Pond Lean-to $40 per night
Chimney Pond Bunkhouse$38 per person
2 Person Cabin $57 per night
3 Person Cabin $78 per night
4 Person Cabin $105 per night
6 Person Cabin $135 per night
Site Transfers $15.00

Summer Camping Fees

Site Transfers $15.00
Campground Lean-to or Tent-site $32.00 per night
Backcountry Lean-to or Tent-site $21.00 per night
Bunkhouse (per person per night) $12.00
2-Person Cabin $57 per night
3-Person Cabin $78 per night
4-Person Cabin $105 per night
6-Person Cabin $135 per night
Group Areas: Individual$8.00 per night
Group Site Minimum $48.00 per night

For booking in the summer, reservations can be made 4 months before the date at most. For more information, you can check out the Reservation page.

Arrival and Departure Time

Arrival and Departure Time
Arrival and Departure Time

For camping in Baxter Park, the check-in time started after 1:00 p.m., and the latest time for check-out is by 11:00 a.m. By 8:30 p.m, all the first-night camping visitors must be admitted to the park gate.

Please announce through telephone if you miss your first-day reservation since the release of the unattended reservation will be made at 4:00 p.m. on the next day. No motorcycle use allowed inside the Park. The vehicle sizes are also limited; please refer to the Park Rules for more information.

Do you need a permit for Baxter State Park?

Information Pages
Information Pages

For all campers, getting all the know-how before going to the real site is necessary. To help you get the most updated and complete knowledge of Baxter Park’s conditions, please follow these links:

  • For making a reservation: Reservation
  • To check out all the money you will spend: Fees
  • To know what to do and not to do: Rules and Regulations
  • All the essential information for you: General Park Information
  • If you want to use the Appalachian Trail and Thru-Hiking: AT Thru-Hiking
  • For disable people visiting the Park: Accessibility
  • Programs for children in Baxter Park: Evening and Children’s programs

For Winter Camping, please direct to these links:

  • To go camping in the winter, follow these policies and procedures:  BSP Winter Visitor Policies & Procedures
  • Check this out before getting a reservation with the Park: Winter Camping Handbook
  • All you need to know about Baxter Park: General Information
  • BSP rules and regulation to avoid unwanted situations: Rules & Regulations
  • Where you can get the reservation form: Reservation Page

Winter Policy & Procedures:

Winter Policy & Procedures
Winter Policy & Procedures

Basically, the policies and procedures for winter camping in Baxter Park are not the same as the summer’s since the scenery included high mountains and snow-covered paths, which require additional restriction. Campers are advised to follow these rules and contact the staff for better assistance:

For reservations in the winter, Baxter Park starts to receive winter booking from 1st November, through mail or in-person at reservations Baxter State Park Headquarters are acceptable.

The Winter Reservation Form is needed for registering, and you must book at least a working week prior to the camping date.

Information on winter camping are included in these links:

  • Winter Camping Handbook
  • Winter Reservation Form
  • Winter Solo Camping Form
  •  Winter Day Use Registration Form for Above Tree Line
  • Winter Fees
  • Winter Use Map
  • Winter Mileage Chart

The winter season time in Baxter Park is from 1st December to 31st March the following years. All the fees, policies, and procedures for winter camping will be applied in this period.

The activities for winter camping in the Parks include:

  • Camping, backcountry skiing, and snowshoeing: only authorized campsites allowed; all the overnight skiing or snowshoeing trips must be below treeline.
  • Mountain hiking and mountain climbing: above treeline and off-trail trips allowed, ice or snow climbing is permitted.
  • Ski-mountaineering or snowboarding: above treeline use is allowed.

Winter Procedures For Activities:

Winter Procedures For Activities
Winter Procedures For Activities

For day-use trips below the treeline, special permission is not required. Registration should be done at self-registration boxes or at Park Headquarters (telephone registration allowed). For Katahdin above-treeline climbs, you must make a reservation at least a working week in advance (can be done through phone calls).

The Park Headquarters’ working time is from Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m to 4 p.m., closed for holidays.

Winter activities including camping, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, mountain biking, mountain climbing, ski-mountaineering, and snowboarding (above-treeline or overnight trip) require winter registration forms. They shall be under the policies and procedures and other related paperwork. These forms will be forwarded to the BSP Headquarters a week before the trip date.

Party Size And Composition

Party Size And Composition
Party Size And Composition

Baxter Park does not require the minimum number of people for a group; however, the maximum number for group size is 10 members.

For group members wishing to go solo, please submit the Winter Solo Camping Form along with the reservation request or with the Ranger at Chimney Pond. Remember that the form will not allow you to take part in unprotected free solo climbing on technical terrain.

Other Rules

Other rules to camp in Baxter Park
Other rules to camp in Baxter Park

To camp in Baxter Park, visitors must submit registration with the Chimney Pond Ranger, at Ranger stations (no staff presented), or at your presence at the campsite.

For the winter camping group, please confirm your camping reservations with paperwork and full payment 7 days in advance of your trip date. The first day to deal with winter business with the BSP Reservations office is the first working day of November.

Please take responsibility for your safety in the Park area and try to head back when necessary for backcountry campers. A compensation fee for a search-and-rescue party shall be requested in response to reckless behavior or unauthorized activities.

For winter parties, please bring along your winter reservations in-park, and photo IDs of the party members must be presented at the request of the BSP Ranger.

Recommended Equipment

Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment

You may experience extreme weather condition in Baxter Park in wintertime, and rescue party is limited during these haphazard periods, please prepare the equipment recommended for yourself and your party:

For Personal Winter Camping: snowshoes or skis, mountain boots, sunglasses or snow goggles, warm clothing, insulated packs, winter sleeping bag, food, fire-starting device, maps, flashlight or headlamp, repair kits.

For Group Winter Camping: first aid kit, axes or camp saws, an outdoor thermometer, wind-chill chart, snow shovel.

Other Winter Activities (Additional Equipment): ice ax, crampons, helmet, climbing rope, sleeping bag or bivy sack, climbing equipment, appropriate avalanche assessment, and safety equipment.

Weather Forecast At Baxter Park

Weather Forecast At Baxter Park
Weather Forecast At Baxter Park

Baxter Park offers a weather classification system for daily weather forecasts, extreme condition warnings, and area restrictions. All visitors to the Park should get information at Park Headquarters in Millinocket or occupied Ranger Station (in-person or through a phone call) to get the forecast of the day.

Winter Day Use In Baxter Park

Winter Day Use In Baxter Park
Winter Day Use In Baxter Park

For visitors going for a day trip in the beautiful Baxter Park, please refer to these links for important information and guide:

  1. For general policies and procedures in winter: Winter Visitor Policies & Procedures
  2. For navigation in the wintertime: Winter Use Map.
  3. To calculate the distance for your trips: Winter Mileage Chart.

All day-use visitors to the Park in winter must complete check-in at the Park Headquarters in Millinocket to be fully equipped with the information needed for the trip.

Please remember that all roads around and inside Baxter Park are not plowed in wintertime. Visitors can locate the major trailheads’ access points to access the Park.

For Below Treeline activities, check-in and check-out for day-use individuals should be done at the Park Headquarters or self-registration boxes.

For skiing and snowshoeing, reaching the summit in a day trip is practically impossible. Still, these activities can be done at a high-quality area near the major trailheads.

For Snowmobiling, the authorized area for this activity is Park Tote Road. However, no accommodations and services such as warming huts, fuel stations are provided in this route. The Park Tote Road is a shared route with other winter activities, and the maximum speed for the ride is 20 mph.

For the above treeline activities, including mountain hiking and climbing, all the day-use parties intending to participate in such activities above treeline or on-off marked trails shall submit the same registration with winter campers.

The registration process is provided in the Policies & Procedures for winter
The registration process is provided in the Policies & Procedures for winter

The registration process is provided in the Policies & Procedures for winter. Nevertheless, winter mountain hiking or climbing permission can only be obtained in person; no phone call is allowed.

In ideal conditions, skiers may reach the Katahdin via the Abol Trail, but with registration, it is not likely to be possible due to the policy of 7-day prior reservation.

For ice climbing, the resources for the activities are limited in day-use climbs, but visitors can go for the ice climbs near the Park Tote Road, precisely the ones located to the southeast side of Doubletop Mountain (Nesowadnehunk Stream needed to be done first). You can check out the Winter Day Use Above Treeline Permit for more information.