February 2021 – Kim McCarrel with NW Horse Trails – Deschutes and Willamette National Forests to Implement Central Cascades Wilderness Permit System
Following last year’s delay due to COVID-19, Forests move forward with the system this year
Springfield and Bend, Ore. – The Deschutes and Willamette National Forests announced today that the two forests will move forward with implementing the Central Cascades Wilderness Permit System this year. The initial implementation of the permit system was delayed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beginning Friday, May 28 and ending on Friday, September 24, 2021 day-use permits will be required for 19 out of 79 trails in the Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, and Three Sisters wilderness areas. During the same period, overnight-use permits will be required for all trails in those same three wilderness areas. There are some exceptions for PCT hikers, volunteers, and hunters.
More information about the permits can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/willamette/specialplaces/
Reservations for the permits will open at 7 a.m. PDT on April 6, 2021 at www.Recreation.gov. The Forest Service encourages everyone to “go on-line, don’t stand in line”.
Permits will be available in the following way:
Overnight Use Availability:
40% full season available on April 6.
60% available on a 7-day rolling window.
Day Use Availability:
20-50% of a trailhead’s full season will be available on April 6.
50-80% of a trailhead’s permits will be available on a 7-day rolling window to allow for people to take more spontaneous trips.
Reservations can also be made by calling 1-877-444-6777. Individuals can also get permits at Deschutes and Willamette National Forest offices, but it should be noted due to COVID, National Forest offices may be closed to the public. People should call the office ahead of time to make sure it is open.
Processing fees will be applied to the permits regardless of how they are reserved. Day-use permits will be charged $1.00 per permit per person. Overnight-use permits will be charged $6.00 per trip. Overnight permits can include up to 12 people for a trip of up to 14 days.
For more information check out NW Horse Trails website and their Facebook page!