Obsidian Limited Entry Area Permits

The Obsidian Limited Entry Area in the Three Sisters Wilderness requires additional protection in an effort to preserve the natural beauty and wilderness experience; therefore a limited entry quota is in effect. Under this quota, 30 day hikers and 40 overnight visitors are permitted into the area each day. This includes the Obsidian Trail #3528 and other areas. See a map of the Obsidian Area.

How to Get a Permit

Advance Reservations

Permits for the Obsidian Limited Entry Area will become available for advance reservation via recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777 annually on May 1 for season dates beginning the Friday of the Memorial Day holiday weekend and ending October 31. Permits are available first come, first served. Most permits for weekends and holidays are reserved well in advance. A $6 processing fee applies.

Depending on weather or equipment delays, the earliest Oregon Department of Transportation will open the road to the Obsidian Trailhead (Hwy 242) is mid-June. The road is open to non-motorized use as soon as it is free of snow. Check tripcheck.com for road conditions.

Be prepared to supply the following information:

  • Proposed arrival and departure date
  • Credit/debit card, to pay the $6 reservation fee
  • Number of people in your group (no more than 12)

Day-of-Trip Permits

If quota space is available, visitors can pick up a permit on the day a trip begins at McKenzie River Ranger Station or on www.recreation.gov. The $6 processing fee applies; credit cards only.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I need to change the dates of my permit, will I have to pay another $6.00 processing fee?  
A: Yes. You will need to cancel your existing permit and make a new reservation for the new dates of your trip. We recommend you make your new reservation first, to ensure there are permits available.

Q: I need to add more people to the permit, will I have to pay another $6.00 processing fee?
A: No. Once you pay the processing fee, you can make changes to your group size without additional cost. However, you will only be able to change your group size if there is permit space still available.

Q: What happens if I need to cancel my reservation? Will I get the $6.00 processing fee back?
A: No, the $6.00 processing fee is non-refundable.

Q: I learned there was too much snow to get up to the trailhead for the dates I reserved. Will I be able to change my reservation?
A: No. To change the dates of your trip, you will have to make a new reservation for the new dates of your trip.

Q: Several people in my group can't make the trip. Do I need change my reservation?
A: Yes, the party size on your permit needs to be changed. There will be no additional cost for this change. By changing the party size, space will be made available to others who wish to make reservations.

Q: I made a reservation for a day trip into the Obsidian Limited Entry Area, but now I want to stay overnight. How do I do this?
A: You will need to make a new reservation for the overnight trip and you will need to cancel your day-use permit. We recommend you make your overnight permit reservation first to ensure there’s permit space available, before you cancel your day-use permit. 

More questions? Contact McKenzie River Ranger Station

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