Enchantments Area Reservations Cancelled through May 31

Restrictions to promote safety have limited access to many popular areas on public lands, and will continue to do so for a while.

Overnight wilderness permit reservations for the popular Enchantments area of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness located on the Wenatchee River Ranger District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest are changing too. In order to remain in compliance with Center for Disease Control social distancing guidelines, reservations have been cancelled for overnight permits in the Enchantments made between May 15 and May 31. Permit holders who won the lottery for overnight permits in the Enchantments during this time will be refunded; we currently have no way of rolling permits over to 2021.

“It was a very difficult decision, especially now, when more than ever, people are looking to the outdoors as a place of safety, comfort, and solace,” Wilderness Manager Carly Reed said. “We recognize that in order to obtain a permit to enter the Enchantments many have had to plan ahead potentially for months. We sincerely apologize for any disappointment or inconvenience this cancellation may cause, but public and employee safety is our number one priority.”

The cancellations of Enchantments overnight permits will be reassessed on a two-week basis until it is safe to reopen. Upon reopening, to protect the health and safety of the public and employees, the daily walk-up lottery normally held at the Wenatchee River Ranger Station will be suspended for the 2020 season. To compensate for the loss of the walk-up lottery, one permit each for the Colchuck, Eightmile, Stuart, and Snow Lakes zones, and up to eight individuals in the Core Zone will be added to the advanced online reservation system on a first come, first serve basis.

“Once the Enchantments are accessible, we encourage forest visitors to continue to practice social distancing in parking lots and on trails, and bring along personal hygiene products as restrooms supplies may not be available,” Reed said. “As a reminder, parking along the Eightmile Road outside of trailhead parking lots is prohibited.”

“We will continue to work with state and local health agencies to transition Forest Service operations and services as local conditions warrant. Any changes will be based on advice we receive from state and local health agencies as they decide how to implement their state-wide reopening plans,” Reed said.

Updates will be posted to the Forest COVID-19 Information page.

Temporary delays on Icicle Road, which provides a point of access to the Enchantments, will occur while the City of Leavenworth and Trout Unlimited complete multiple projects to improve water supply and fish recovery in the Icicle watershed. Traffic on Icicle Road will be limited to one lane on occasion through the end of August.

Enchantment permit daily lottery

Crowds await announcement of the daily Enchantments permit lottery winners at the Wenatchee River Ranger District office in Leavenworth, Washington in 2019. Photo credit: USDA Forest Service by Carly Reed


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