Central Cascades Wilderness Permit System to adopt new changes

Release Date: Feb 15, 2022

Contact(s): Tammy Robinson, Jean Nelson-Dean

Bend and Springfield, Ore. —  Today, the Deschutes and Willamette National Forests announce changes to the Central Cascades Wilderness Permit System.

The changes are designed to improve the permit system following last summer’s first year of implementation. The changes will increase permit opportunities for the public and simplify the permit system.


Changes to the Permit System

The permit season will change to June 15 to October 15 every year rather than the Friday before Memorial Day to the last Friday in September. This change aligns the actual season of use with the permit season. Last year, people had permits in early June that were unusable due to snow and road conditions and closures while the wildernesses were accessible in early October.

Day use permits will not be available for full season advanced reservations. All day use permits will be released in a ten-day and two-day rolling window during the permit season. Last summer, there was a significant number of “no-shows” primarily caused by people making advanced permit reservations and not using their reservations.

The overnight permit system has changed the most. The overnight permit quota is now based on the date of entry, meaning there is a daily entry quota for each trailhead allowing new groups to start their trip each day. This simplifies the reservation system because people will not have to block out all the days of their planned trip.  The 14-day maximum stay limit will remain in place.

Reservations for the overnight permits will begin on the first Tuesday in April (April 5, 2022), and 40% of overnight permits will be available for advanced reservation. Once the permit season begins, the remaining 60% of overnight permits will be available in a 7-day rolling window

Permit quotas will slightly increase for most trailheads. Please refer to the attached trailhead quota handout.

Hunters will continue to use their valid tag, issued through the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife,

without having to secure a separate wilderness permit.  A valid hunting tag allows the hunter and up to

three additional people into the wilderness permit area one day before, during and one day after the season for the species-specific tag.   


Background on the Central Cascades Wilderness Permit System

Wilderness permits are required for all overnight use within the Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, and Three Sisters wilderness areas. Day use permits are required on 19 of 79 trailheads within those same three wilderness areas.

All reservations for Central Cascades Wilderness Permits must be made through Recreation.gov either on-line, via the Recreation.gov app on mobile devices, or by calling their call center at 1-877-444-6777 or TDD 877-833-6777. Search for “Central Cascades Wilderness.”  

There continues to be a $1 processing charge for day-use permits per individual and a $6 processing charge for overnight-use permits per group. An overnight group can be from one to 12 people.


For More Information

The Forest Service will continue to update websites and information to reflect these changes. Visit: www.fs.usda.gov/detail/willamette/passes-permits/recreation/?cid=fseprd688355 and check for updated information.

Follow us on: Twitter @DesNatlForest or @willamettenf or Facebook facebook.com/deschutesnationalforest or facebook.com/willamettenf for any updates.

If people have specific questions, they can contact our wilderness permit administrator at sm.fs.ccwp@usda.gov .