Upcoming Changes to the Central Cascades Wilderness Permit Entry Program

Land managers are changing the Central Cascades Wilderness Permit entry system that began last year.

Managers say the changes will increase opportunities for the public and simplify the permit reservation system.

There are two types of permits required to visit the Three Sisters, Mount Washington, and Mount Jefferson Wilderness Areas: day use and night use.

And after a first year of license, some changes are coming.

“What we really learned in the last year was that many people were denied access because so many people booked permits and did not use them. We had a very high number of no-shows,” said Jean Nelson-Dean, public affairs officer for the Deschutes National Forest.

This year, there will be no advance booking of day use permits.

Instead, all-day use permits will be issued in rolling 10- and 2-day windows before the dates people hope to hike in the wilderness. starting points closest to town.

These trails include Green Lakes, Tam McArthur Rim and South Sister.

“The goal is to reduce absences and increase permit access,” Nelson-Dean said. “Give people as many opportunities as possible to get out into nature, whether for day or night use.”

The overnight permit system changes the most.

The night permit quota is now based on the date of entry; which means that there is a daily entry quota for each start of the trail allowing new groups to start their journey every day.

“What we noticed was that people were only there for an average of 2.5 days, so we were able to increase the number of people who could go, to simplify things,” Nelson said- Dean. “People can just say, ‘I’m going on this date. I’m going to finish on this date,’ but ordinary people have the option of going out into the wilderness. They won’t have to wait for someone else to go out. .

The season for which permits are required moves from June 15 to October 15, rather than from the Friday before Memorial Day to the last Friday in September. This change aligns the permit season with the actual season of use.

Wilderness permit prices are unchanged.

Click on here for more information.

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Ryan H. Bowman