Backcountry Reservations

North Cascades Wilderness Information Center
Backcountry permits can be picked up at the Wilderness Information Center.

Photo by NPS

Application Process

All backcountry reservations are processed through and approved by North Cascades National Park wilderness rangers before permits can be picked up.

Use this video with detailed instructions on how to make a reservation on Learn about the different ways to reserve backcountry campsites:

Early-Access Lottery

Apply for the lottery between the time frame listed below. If you are successful, you will be awarded a timeslot to make a reservation. Lottery winners are allowed to make just one reservation from the beginning of the timeslot until the end of the lottery period.

General On-Sale

After the lottery, the remainder of reservable sites will be open for reservations during the General On-Sale. Reservations must be made at least 2 days before the trip start date. Your reservation is not a permit. Permits must picked up by 11 am on the first day of your trip or they will be cancelled.

Walk-up Permits

If you are unable to make a reservation, approximately 40% of sites can be reserved through walk-up permits. Permits can be picked up in person at the Wilderness Information Center and certain permitting offices the day of or day before a trip begins.

Dates for 2024


March 4 - March 15, 2024

Early-Access Lottery applications are accepted anytime between these dates. Deadline is 9 pm Pacific Time on March 15

March 22, 2024

Users are notified of results and, if successful, their timeslots

March 25 - April 23, 2024

Lottery winners can make Early-Access reservations during or after the awarded timeslots. Deadline is 9 pm Pacific Time on April 23

April 29, 2024

General On-Sale period for reservations opens at 7 am Pacific Time

May 17 - October 12, 2024

Wilderness Information Center is open for the “Peak Season.” Reservations can be made for trips starting between these dates.

Fees and Cancellations

Recreation Fee: Adults (16 and older) - $10 per person
Youth (15 and under) - free
Reservation Fee: $6 non-refundable

The reservation fee is charged to apply to the Early-Access Lottery, make a reservation during the General On-sale, and get a walk-up permit. Only debit and credit cards are accepted, no cash.

The per person recreation fee can be refunded if a trip is cancelled at least 3 days before the trip start date. You may make changes to your reservation, if sites are available, up until the day before your reservation date.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about the reservation process by exploring the questions below.

A person fords a swift creek along a trail
A creek crossing along the Chilliwack River trail in late June. Photo by NPS/WHsieh
The wilderness is a dynamic, natural environment where events and conditions are unpredictable and may vary widely year to year. There is a possibility that trail and campground closures, environmental conditions (such as snow, high stream crossings, etc.), natural events (such as fires, aggressive animals, etc.), or other events may impact your itinerary. In the event this occurs, every effort will be made to provide an alternative itinerary when you activate your reservation at a ranger station.

Last updated: May 24, 2024

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Contact Info

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810 State Route 20
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284


360 854-7200

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