By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Reservations for the Central Cascade Wilderness Permit System begin Tuesday.
The new system will require day use and overnight permits for 19 of the 79 trails in the Mount Washington, Mount Jefferson, and Three Sisters wilderness areas.
Some of the most popular trails include Devils Lake Trailhead, Green Lakes Trailhead, and Tam McArthur Rim Trailhead.
20-50% of day-use permits will be available to reserve, as well as 40% of overnight permits.
Once the season starts May 28th, new permits will become available every day.
The goal is to keep these areas the way they are for the future, while still providing access.
“We understand those are beautiful trails, we understand that’s why people want to go on them,” said Jean Nelson-Dean, Deschutes National Forest public affairs officer. “We just would like to spread out the use a little bit to some of the other trails, and hopefully people can have some new experiences.”
Bend residents Anna Phelps and Kelsey Carson see the pros and the cons of the new system.
“It’s important to maintain our forests,” Phelps said. “You know, it takes a level of education to go outside and be safe and be respectful. And so I think in one instance it’s not a bad idea to have a permit system, on the other hand it’ll be a change.”
Deschutes National Forest has been working with its partners, including hotels and tourism agencies, to pass the message along to tourists.
“Yeah it’ll be a learning curve,” Carson said. “But people will figure it out.”
Day-use permits are per person, per trip for $1.
Overnight permits are $6 per trip for up to six people for up to 13 nights.
Wilderness rangers will be checking.
“There’s plenty of outdoor recreation left to have here,” Nelson-Dean said.
Permits will be reservable at 7 a.m. on April 6th at recreation.gov.
Where do I need a Central Cascades Wilderness Permit?
- All overnight visitors to the Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington and Three Sisters Wilderness are required to have a Central Cascades Wilderness Permit.
- Day-only visitors to the trailheads listed in the links below are required to have a Central Cascades Wilderness Permit. A new permit is required for each outing.
- Mt. Jefferson Map
- Mt. Washington Map
- Three Sisters East Map
- Three Sisters West Map
The list includes popular hikes such as the Green Lakes Trail and Broken Top Trail.
You won’t need a permit to hike around Todd Lake.