Guide to Permits

The CMC has compiled various resources to help with planning your activities and courses on local, state, and federal lands.

Permits are required anytime the Colorado Mountain Club charges a fee for a course or activity that takes place on public land. 

Permit Planning Guide - Reference this document for a summary of commonly used land agencies. Included with each listing is a link to an interactive map of recreational opportunities, contact information, name of the required permit, due date, fees, and any key notes. 

Permit planning workshops will be held at the American Mountaineering Center in: 

  • January for USFS summer requests
  • July for USFS winter requests
  • October for all other requests

Permit Request Form - Submit a separate form for each new class session.

The deadlines to submit a request are: 

  • February 1: USFS summer requests
  • August 1: USFS winter requests
  • October 15: all other requests

All requests must be accompanied with a map (here is an example). On the map of your desired location, indicate where you will park and the route/area you will occupy. Label the map with the name of your course and activity. Mention whether you will be in avalanche or snow covered terrain. If so, send the instructors Avalanche Terrain Avoidance or AIARE certification to the permit coordinator.

Permit Request Archive - Review the status of your requested permit in this spreadsheet. Updates are made regularly to reflect whether the application has been submitted, approved, or denied. Application fees and notes about the permit are also found here. 

Approved Permits - This folder contains pdf copies of all approved CMC permits, as well as any additional documents instructors may need for their field day. 

Post Use Report Form - Record data from each field day including date, location, type of activity, and the number of students and instructors. This information is required as a condition of an approved permit so land agencies can track visitor impact. The deadline to submit your post use is 2 weeks after completion of your field day. 


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which months are included in the USFS winter and summer requests? What about spring and fall? 
    • The USFS summer months are June 1 - October 31
    • The USFS winter months are November 1 - May 31
  • How flexible can we be with changing dates after submitting a request? 
    • The flexibility of dates depends on the land management agency. Please refer to the Permit Planning Guide document linked above. 
  • What are "service days" with the USFS? 
    • The USFS calculates service days as the number of students on Forest Service land multiplied by the number of days on Forest Service land. 
      • Examples:
      • 10 students on a day hike: 10 * 1 = 10 service days.
      • 5 students on two different days: 5 * 2 = 10 service days. 
    • We cannot change the total number of service days granted to us by the Forest Service. There is some flexibility in group size and travel days. 
  • Do I need a permit for a trip? 
    • Generally, you do not need a permit to lead trips because it is not a fee-based activity. Please reference the Permit Planning Guide linked above for more details on specific land management agencies. 

Did you know the CMC owns a private tract of land located near Winter Park, CO?

Rendezvous Open Space - The property is a mix of woods and clear-cut, set on a rolling hillside. Located at 9,500' the property holds snow well during winter months. No permit is required, so this is a great back-up option for field days. Please contact permits@cmc.org to set up your reservation. All participants must sign the Rendezvous Liability Waiver. 


Any questions regarding CMC permits for public lands can be directed to permits@cmc.org