Over the last five years people have flocked to the Central Cascades wilderness areas. Some trails have had visitation levels increase 300 to 500 percent. To keep these wilderness “wild” the United States Forest Service(USFS) has implemented a limited entry permit system. Beginning the Friday before Memorial Day and ending the last Friday in September, overnight permits will be required within the Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington and Three Sisters Wilderness. Day-use permits will be required on 19 of the 79 trails in those wildernesses.
Reservations for the permits will open on the first Tuesday in April. You can get permits at www.recreation.gov. When you go to the website search for “Central Cascades Wilderness Permits” and follow the prompts. Make sure you are getting the permit you want before you finalize. Permits can be downloaded onto your smartphone or be printed out. If you need help you can visit any Forest Service office on the Deschutes or Willlamette National Forests.
There are some exceptions to the permit system and a few other important details that you can find at Recreation.gov. The USFS’s goal with the permit system is to make sure you plan ahead and get the permit you want to experience an adventure in the Central Cascades Wildernesses. Remember they are yours to enjoy and yours to protect.
We’re all out there, so Take Care Out There.
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