Make the McKenzie Connection!

Know before you go....


The Central Cascades Wilderness Strategies Project started in 2017 when Using U.S. Forest Service data from 5 years of information via seasonal Self-issue Wilderness Permits. The data included things like lots of trash, feces not buried, user trails being created, and camping on fragile alpine areas. A proposed wilderness-wide limited entry permit system went to the public in May 2019 and resulted in the final draft of the project.


Actions include:

* Limiting access to the Three Sisters, Mount Washington and Mount Jefferson Wildernesses from June 15 - October 15.

* 79 trailheads will require a limited entry permit for overnight use.

* 19 trailheads will require a limited entry permit for day use (if you have a day use or overnight permit that does also cover the cost of parking).

* Elevation fire ban: Mount Jefferson, Mountain Washington and Three Sisters Wilderness areas: no fires at or above 5,700 feet. Diamond Peak Wilderness: no fires at or above 6,000 feet. Waldo Lake Wilderness: no elevation fire ban. Fires are never allowed at Table Lake, Marion/Ann Lake Basin, Benson Lake and Tenas Lakes.

* Site Restrictions: Designated campsites at Green Lakes Basin, Moraine Lake Basin, and North and South Matthieu Lakes areas (there will be no camping in these areas outside of designated campsites).

* Camping setbacks have been imposed at the following locations and distances from water: No Name Lake on Broken Top Tarn (1/4 mile) Golden Lake; The Obsidian Cliffs area including Sisters Springs, Glacier Creek, Obsidian Creek, White Branch Creek, and Arrowhead Lake, Minnie Scott Springs; Linton Meadows area; and the Pamelia Lake area (250 feet).

* Pacific Crest Trail Users: Hikers with a PCT long-distance permit will not be allowed to camp outside the PCT corridor (1/2 mile on either side of PCT), or in the following areas: Obsidian, North and South Matthieu Lakes, Coyote and Shale Lakes, and Jefferson Park.


* Permits (overnight only) are sold through http://www.recreation,gov starting on April 4th for the season.

* This is a first-come first-served permit system - search Central Cascades Wilderness Permits, then select your desired trailhead from a landing page.

* Overnight permit availability. 40% of the full season quota will be available on April 4, 60% of the quota will be available on a 7-day rolling window,

* Day use permit availability: 100% of the permits will be available 10 days and 2 days prior to reservation date,

* Day use permits are $1 per person. Day use permits are for 1 person, however one person can purchase permits for up to 12 people for a group hike if the quota allows. The group must stay together during the duration of the hike.

* Overnight permits are $6 per permit. Overnight group permits are for up to 12 people. There must be an established trip leader named on the permit. Group Leaders cannot be changed, and at least one group leader or named alternate group leader must be with the group at all times. All group members are required to start on the same day and camp together,

* Travel between Central Cascades Wilderness areas using one permit is only allowed at Pacific Crest Trail trailheads.

* Maximum length of stay is 14 consecutive days. People may not exit and reenter at a later date with the same permit

* You must carry your permit with you and present it upon request to any Forest Service officer or other law enforcement officer throughout the duration of your trip.

* Permits are non-transferable.

* If you decide to not go on your trip, you can return your permit to make it available in the system to someone else, however there are no refunds except during extreme cases of shutdowns like during Wildfires.


You do not need to get a limited entry permit if you have the following:

* Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Long Distance permit issued by the Pacific Crest Trail Association for long distance hikers traveling more than 500 miles along the PCT.

* Hunters with the following tags- West High Cascade Hunt (119A). General archery deer and elk hunt exemption is only for day use.

* Volunteers, while volunteering in coordination with the Forest Service.


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