You are here: Home Signpost Blog Enchantments Permit Window Begins February 22

Enchantments Permit Window Begins February 22

Posted by Susan Elderkin at Feb 08, 2012 02:05 PM |
This year, lottery applications for the popular Enchantment Permit Area will be accepted from February 22 to March 13, 2012. From June 15 to October 15 each year, all overnight visitors must obtain a quota-based permit to camp in this wilderness area.
Enchantments Permit Window Begins February 22

Lottery applications for the Enchantment Permit Area will be accepted from February 22 to March 13, 2012. Photo by Don Geyer.

For some hikers, the Enchantment Lakes Basin is a once in a lifetime backpacking experience. For others, its a special place to return to as often as possible. But whether hikers are able to hike in this sublime alpine wonderland this summer depends on one crucial factor: winning a coveted lottery permit.

From June 15 to October 15, all overnight visitors must obtain a quota-based permit in order to camp in the Enchantments area. Because demand far exceeds the number of permits available, it is highly recommended that hikers take part in the lottery drawing if they want to overnight this summer or fall.

This year, lottery applications for the Enchantment Permit Area will be accepted from February 22 to March 13, 2012.

Permits are required for overnight camping in the:

Like last year, the lottery process will be handled via www.recreation.gov, the same site that processes campground reservations for many U.S. Forest Service and Mount Rainier National Park campgrounds in Washington. There will be a $6 application fee, and applicants who are successful will be charged $5 per person per day.

Results of the lottery process will be sent out at midnight on March 15. Starting about 7am on March 16, unclaimed lottery allotments will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Do note that hikers who miss all of these windows may still be in luck for a walk-up permit. Twenty-five percent of the permits are held back for walk-ins, and will be available at 7:45 each morning except Sundays.

Tips for Snagging a Permit

When filling out a permit application, hikers are required to select the Enchantment Zone where they would like to camp, the number in their party and entry and exit dates. Applicants will be allowed to enter up to four possible itineraries, and flexibility will certainly improve the odds. Other tips include:

  • Choosing mid-week dates, as trips starting on Thursday, Friday or Saturday fill up first.
  • Selecting dates outside of the popular August - early September window, like July or late September.
  • Selecting a less-visited destination outside of the Core Enchantments Zone, such as the Eightmile/Caroline Zone, or stay in the Snow Lakes Zone and day hike into the Enchantment Lakes Basin.
  • Keeping party sizes small (maximum is eight).

For more information, visit the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Enchantments website or go straight to www.recreation.gov to apply beginning February 22nd. Good luck!

Document Actions
  • Print this
  • Share

More hikes » Hike of the Week
Diablo Lake Trail (Apr 17)

Diablo Lake

North Cascades

Follow the Diablo Lake Trail up and across talus slopes on the flanks of Sourdough Mountain to impressive cascading waterfalls and stunning views. This hike in the North Cascades Institute's backyard makes a great option for an early season hike in stunning North Cascades National Park, much of which is inaccessible during the winter and spring.

Get Trail News

Subscribe to our free email newsletter for hiking news, events, gear reviews and more.

What's Happening
Trails and Ales - Spokane 2014 Apr 22, 2014 Meet fellow hikers and raise a glass for trails!
GiveBIG 2014 May 06, 2014 Donate to WTA during The Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG event and grow your impact on trails!
Hiker Potluck in Vancouver May 28, 2014 Come out for an evening of great food, meet other hikers and learn what is happening on trails near you.
More »