Wilderness area permit system to begin in May; permits reservable April 6th

The Deschutes and the Willamette National Forests are reminding the public that permit reservations for the Central Cascade Wilderness Permit System begin next week.

On April 6th at 7 a.m. Central Cascades Wilderness Permits will be reservable at Recreation.gov.

The permit system begins the Friday before Memorial Day (May 28) and ends on the last Friday in September (Sept.  24).

Wilderness permits are required for all overnight use in the Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, and Three Sisters wilderness areas.

Day-use permits are required on 19 of the 79 trails into those same three wildernesses.

People are encouraged to go to Recreation.gov prior to next Tuesday and create an account.

To find the permits put Central Cascades Wilderness into the search bar and all permit options for day-use or overnight use will show.

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.

Deschutes, Willamette National Forests to implement wilderness permit system

There is a $1.00 processing charge for day-use permits per individual and a $6.00 processing charge for overnight-use permits per group. An overnight group can be from 1 to 12 people.

Overnight Use Permit Availability:

  • 40% of overnight permits will be available on April 6, 2021.
  • 60% available of overnight permits will be available on a 7-day rolling window beginning May 28, 2021. The 7-day rolling window means that every day new permits will be available.

Day Use Permit Availability:

  • 20-50% of a trailhead’s full season will be available on April 6, 2021.
  • 50-80% of a trailhead’s permits will be available on a 7-day rolling window on May 28, 2021. The 7-day rolling window means that every day new permits will be available.

All reservations must be made through Recreation.gov either online, by calling (877) 444-6777 or TDD Line at 877-833-6777 from 10 a.m. – 12 a.m. (Eastern Time Zone).

People may go to a Willamette or Deschutes National Forests office to reserve a permitHowever, currently, Forest Service offices are closed due to COVID-19 and people should call an office ahead of going.

Tomorrow, March 30, the Deschutes Public Library will host a virtual presentation on the new permit system from 6 to 7 p.m. at https://www.deschuteslibrary.org/calendar/event/61550.

Once the permit season has begun Deschutes Public Libraries (DPL) open each DPL library will have a check-out system for a limited number of wilderness permits for individuals who may need a free permit.

For more information about the permit system and planning a wilderness trip, people should go to: https://bit.ly/2Pl8jtT .

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