Review the following resources before submitting a reservation application:
Wilderness Trip Planner and Map
Boating on Ross Lake and Ross Lake Map
Camping in Stehekin
2017 List of Reservable Camps and Capacities
New - Status Update as of April 16, 2017! The initial lottery period reservations (over 800!) have now been processed and the park is processing reservations that were submitted April 1 or later, in the order received. If you are considering submitting an application, please note that certain areas are filling up to their reservation capacity. To maximize your chances of a successful reservation, consider listing alternative areas, a range of dates, or a smaller party size, or obtaining a permit for these areas on a walk-up basis.
- Sahale Glacier Camp - Very limited sites remain for Sahale Glacier Camp. Early season mountaineering trips (on snow) may still be possible. Check here for a list of nights already reserved as of April 16.
- Copper Ridge - loop trips will be very difficult to reserve between July 29 - Sept 14 due to limited remaining availability. Most sites hold a maximum of 4 people. Check here for a list of nights already reserved as of April 16.
- Ross Lake -Remaining group sites (8+ people) are limited for the summer months of July and August. Consider listing a range of dates and camps that would work for your group, or coming with a smaller group.
Some areas are snow covered until early or mid-July! Be aware of potential hazards. If in doubt, wait to visit these areas until later in the season. Hazards include but are not limited to:
Cascade Pass –steep snow (ice axe may be needed), high water crossing (Doubtful Creek, Basin Creek in early season), camping on snow, routefinding in snow, Cascade River Road early season closure. Primary hiking season is July 1 until snowfall.
Copper Ridge - steep snow (ice axe may be needed), high water crossing (northern Chilliwack), camping on snow, routefinding in snow, thin or collapsing snowbridges (Hannegan Pass Trail), Hannegan Pass USFS Road #32 early season closure. Primary hiking season is July 15 until snowfall.
All climbing areas - normal travel requires the skills and expertise to navigate technical terrain, including glaciers, crevasses and moats, steep snow and rock, avalanche zones, etc.
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 prevent completion of your itinerary. In the event this occurs, every effort will be made to provide an alternative itinerary when you pick up your permit.
Submitting a Reservation Request
Reservations may be submitted If you experience any technological difficulties, please be patient and check back later. All requests received between March 15 and March 31 receive the same priority level and will be processed in random order. There is no advantage or disadvantage to applying earlier or later within this window.
You can preview the list of reservable camps and reservation capacities here.
Reservation requests will only be accepted via pay.gov. The park will not accept requests by standard mail, fax, phone, or other delivery methods.
March 15 – March 31 – Lottery processing. All requests received between March 15 and March 31 receive the same priority level and will be processed in random order. Park rangers begin to process reservations on April 1.
April 1 – May 15 - Requests made April 1 and after will be processed in the order in which they were received, after the initial reservation batch is processed.
Stock (horse, mule, or llama) parties receive priority at all stock camps, for all application requests received before March 31. If no stock applications are received, these camps may be assigned to hikers or boaters.
Applicants will receive a confirmation of their payment and submission via pay.gov, at the time of submittal.
Processing applications will begin on April 1. Please allow up to four weeks for a response, especially during the initial processing timeframe. Once rangers complete the initial review, response times are expected to be faster, but please be patient. Requests for further verification of applications slows down the process and takes time from processing reservations.
Successful applicants will receive an email confirmation with their reservation itinerary and instructions for permit pickup upon arrival at the park. Non-successful applicants will also receive an email notification that their itinerary did not work.
There is a $20 non-refundable application cost recovery fee for each application request submitted. If the backcountry staff is unable to award an advance reservation itinerary based upon the parameters requested in the application, the $20 fee is not refundable. The application form allows for alternative dates and locations to ensure a successful trip request. Consider all potential trip options and list these on the application.
*Pay.gov allows a variety of payment options. Credit card, Paypal, or Dwolla are recommended for payment.
Changes to Confirmed Advance Reservations
There are two options to change a successful reservation request:
Submit another advance reservation application. Enter the number of the existing reservation into the “existing reservation” field on the application form. Reservation changes are subject to all fees ($20 non-refundable application cost recovery fee).
Make any changes to the reservation when the permit is picked up at the park, subject to walk-in availability. There is no charge for changing permit itineraries on a walk-in basis, up to 24 hours in advance of the start of a trip.
All reservation application fees are non-refundable. Amendments to existing advance reservations are subject to all fees. If travel plans change and you cannot use all, or part, of the backcountry reservation, please call 360-854-7245 to cancel the trip. A refund will not be provided, but it will allow other campers to enjoy those sites.
For assistance with technical difficulties with the Pay.gov application process, call Pay.gov customer service at: 800-624-1373, Option #2. Backcountry staff cannot diagnose technical issues related to the Pay.gov website.