Area Status: Open
The William O. Douglas Wilderness was designated in 1984 and now encompasses 169,081 acres. This Wilderness is named for the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas who was noted for his concern for civil rights and environmental protection issues during his career. Douglas made his home at Goose Prairie, adjacent to the Wilderness near Bumping River, and immortalized the area in his popular book, "Of Men and Mountains." This Wilderness is jointly administered by the Okanogan-Wenatchee and Gifford Pinchot National Forests.
While significant portions of the William O. Douglas Wilderness are high elevation forest, the overall topography is varied. The western peaks are characterized by high elevation lakes in a forested setting, and the eastern slopes drop to mid-elevation pine forest, alpine peaks, bare ridges, and exposed basalt tables and points. The southern portion of the Wilderness spreads out into a large plateau, where the forest thins and 59 lakes lie among another 200 or so ponds and pools. Members of large herds of elk and mule deer reside here with fishers, foxes, mountain goats and grouse.
As much as 120 inches of precipitation per year falls on the western side of the area, while the eastern side may get as little as 20 to 24 inches. Snow usually starts to fall by November, and often lingers in patches in higher elevations until mid-summer. Many trails cross the William O. Douglas Wilderness which ranges in elevation from 3,00 to 7,000 feet. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, which extends from Mexico to Canada, runs along the 27 mile crest of this Wilderness.
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At a Glance
The William O. Douglas Wilderness is located in the southern Washington Cascade mountain crest between White Pass (Highway 12) and Chinook Pass (Highway 410) and east of Mt. Rainier National Park.
Trailheads/trails that access William O Douglas Wilderness within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Other trails within William O. Douglas Wilderness within Gifford Pinchot National Forest
See also: Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest page for William O. Douglas Wilderness
Bumping Lake, Cougar Lake, Goose Prairie, Meeks Table, Norse Peak, Old Scab Mountain, Rimrock Lake, Spiral Butte, Timberwolf Mountain, White Pass. Download free U.S. Forest Service Topo maps here.
Buy Maps Online
Buy the William O. Douglas & Norse Peak Wilderness map online at the National Forest Store.