New Lewis River Recreation Area Reservation System Announced

Release Date: May 13, 2021

Vancouver, WA, May 13, 2021— Those visiting popular recreation sites along the Lewis River at the Gifford Pinchot National Forest “Lewis River Recreation Area” can expect some changes this year. Visitors who park within the Lewis River Recreation Area will now be required to obtain a reserved parking ticket. Reserved parking tickets will allow ticket holders to park their vehicle at one of six different recreational sites along a 14-mile stretch of Forest Road 90.  Previously there were no limits on the number of visitors to this heavily used recreation area. 

Visitation to this area has grown significantly in recent years leading to an increase in traffic, trash, and human waste and creating public health and safety concerns.  The Forest is implementing this seasonal reserved parking ticket system to reduce visitor congestion, to provide for the protection of public health and safety, and to protect fish and wildlife habitat within the Lewis River watershed.

Map of the Lewis River Recreation Area with designated parking sites annotatedThis area is located 26 miles east of Cougar and 29 miles west of Trout Lake, WA and provides access to the popular Lewis River Trail and associated waterfall viewing.  The Lewis River Recreation Area includes Lower Falls Campground and Day Use area, Lewis River Horse Camp, and parking areas associated with Crab Creek, Middle Falls, Upper Falls (Quartz Creek), and Wright Meadows. View a map: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/gp/LRAA/map.

Parking within the Lewis River Recreation Area will only be allowed at the six designated parking areas.  Visitors must have a reserved parking ticket to park at any of these designated parking areas and are only permitted to park in the parking lot where they made a reservation.  Parking along the road, outside of the designated parking areas, will be prohibited.  If you are just passing through and not stopping within the Lewis River Recreation Area, there is no need to obtain a reservation. 

Reservations will be required daily during the busy visitor season from June 15 through September 15. Reserved parking tickets must be purchased in advance through Recreation.gov and printed prior to arrival. Eighty percent of all the reserved parking tickets will be available starting at 7:00 a.m. PT on May 20, 2021 for arrivals beginning June 15th. The remaining reservations will be made available on a rolling basis, two days in advance of each calendar day. This will provide visitors more flexibility with short-term trip planning. When making your reservation there is a $2, non-refundable service fee charged by Recreation.gov.

In addition to a reserved parking ticket, a Northwest Forest Pass, Interagency Pass, or Day Pass are required to visit Lower Falls Day Use area, but not at the other five parking areas within the Lewis River Recreation Area. Passes are sold online, or through local vendors. Day Passes are also available at Lower Falls Day Use area for $5, cash or check.

Campsites at Lower Falls Campground can be reserved at Recreation.gov and campsites at the Lewis River Horse Camp can be secured on a first come first served basis. Those who have reserved a campground reservation at Lower Falls Campground may park at the campground without an additional reserved parking ticket.

For more information about the Lewis River Recreation Area please visit us online at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/gp/LRRA

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