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How easy/hard is it to go backcountry camping in national parks?

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Old 01-17-2019, 04:01 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2019
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Exclamation How easy/hard is it to go backcountry camping in national parks?

I'm planning on going on a road trip around the country this summer with 2 friends. We want to go overnight backcountry camping some nights rather than get a hotel or something else. We plan to go to smallish forests (ex. Prince William Forest Park outside DC) and bigger ones (ex. Shenandoah). On the National Park websites it seems like I need to get a permit. It also seems like I can get one annual pass for all the parks, however I've seen something online that suggests I need to register with each park when I get there (and watch a video and stuff). Can someone please clarify if there is a simpler way. Do we need to get to the park before the office closes? Or is it possible for us to show up at like 7 and just go hike and find a spot?
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