State Route 20 closed at Mile Post 134, Ross Dam
After a brief closure at Newhalem due to an avalanche and unstable conditions, SR 20 has re-opened to its normal winter closure point at MP 134, Ross Dam. The highway will remain closed from Ross Dam to MP 171 (Silver Star Creek) until spring re-opening. More »
Ross Dam Haul Road Closure Continues
A short segment of the Ross Dam Haul Road between the Diablo Lake suspension bridge and the tunnel remains closed to public use due to continued recovery following a March 2010 landslide. The closure will remain in effect through 2014. More »
Notice of planned work for the Cascade River Road, fall 2014
Visitors planning to access the park via the Cascade River Road after Labor Day should be advised that the Park Service is planning a fall closure of this road at Eldorado Creek (3 miles before the end of the road) in order to perform permanent repairs. More »
When Is a Backcountry Permit Required?
Note: Permits are not required for day use or for camping in car-accessed campgrounds along State Route 20 or at the drive-in campground at Hozomeen. Parking passes (required at USFS trailheads) do not substitute for a backcountry permit.
What Is the Cost? There is no cost for a backcountry permit. The primary objective of the permit system is to better manage the backcountry and prevent overcrowding and resource damage.
How to Get Your Backcountry Permit
Backcountry permits are issued:
Where to Obtain a Permit
For driving directions and current hours for all National Park Service ranger stations, click here. If you have any questions about obtaining a permit, please call the Wilderness Information Center at 360-854-7245.
Permits Are Limited
To protect the wilderness and visitors’ experiences, the number of permits issued for each area is limited. Popular areas such as around Cascade Pass, along Ross Lake, on Copper Ridge, and at Thornton and Monogram Lakes can be very busy during the height of summer, and permits can fill quickly. The busiest climbing areas are: Sulphide Glacier, Boston Basin, and Eldorado cross-country zones. To maximize your chance of obtaining a permit and finding solitude, visit these areas midweek or after Labor Day, and have a backup itinerary or climb in mind if your first-choice area is already full. Ask a ranger for less busy alternative areas to visit. There is always somewhere to go.
Why do I need a permit?
Backcountry permits protect your wilderness experience by preventing overcrowding at camps or climbing routes, and protecting natural resources so that all visitors, including future generations, can enjoy them. Permits also serve an important safety function in the event of an emergency or wildfire, and allow managers to gather data important for decision making.
Did You Know?
Grizzly bear tracks can be a reliable indicator of species? Grizzly bear and black bear forepaw tracks are distinct from one another and often times better than a photo of the bear to confirm an observation. So don't just look up, look down.