Forest Service Regulations
for Wilderness & Forest Use

Camping and Stock Use in the Wilderness
  • Northwest Forest Passes are needed for any vehicle parked at the 39 designated trailheads on the Okanogan National Forest. Permits issued by the Methow Valley Ranger District 509-996-4003.
  • Group Size is limited to 12 persons and 18 head of stock.
  • Only Processed Grain may be transported into the wilderness. Hay or unprocessed grain may serve as a seed source for noxious weeds or other non-native plants and is not allowed.
  • Grazing or Tying Stock within 200 feet of the shoreline of any lake is not permitted. Don't ride right to lakeshores - tie up & walk the last 200 feet. If animals paw constantly while tied, hobble them. Stock may not be tied to trees overnight in the Lake Chelan Sawtooth Wilderness. Use a high line or hobble and release.
  • Shortcutting Switchbacks is prohibited. Please stay on the trail.
  • Cutting of Trees for any purpose is not permitted. Use only dead, down wood for fires.
  • Motorized/Mechanized Equipment is not permitted in the wilderness. Mountain bikes are considered "mechanized" and are not allowed.
  • other visitors, stock or wildlife.
  • Caching or storing equipment or personal property is not allowed. "Caching" is defined as leaving property unattended for more than 48 hours.
  • Campfires: Select and established campsite away from lakeshores, streams or trails whenever possible. Avoid using the edges of campsites for tents, tarps, etc.; try to use already impacted areas. Hang your food to keep it safe from bears and rodents. It should be at least 10 feet high and 8 feet away from the tree trunk.
  • Permits are not required to hike and camp in the wilderness but are required in the adjacent North Cascades national Park complex. Obtain Park Service permits at the Methow Valley Ranger Station in Twisp or at the National Park Service in Marblemount.
  • Pack it Out if you packed it in. Try to also pack out a little of the garbage left by those more careless than you. Encourage others to do the same.
  • Going Light on the Land
    • Bury Human Waste in a "cathole" 6 inches deep and at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
    • Scatter horse and mule droppings.
    • Wash yourself and dishes, and dispose of used water at least 200 feet from water sources. Even biodegradable soap pollutes the water. It must filter through the soil first to be safe.
    • Pack out or burn completely any left over food. Plan your meals carefully to avoid leftovers.
  • Campfires are permitted except during special fires closures. Use established fire rings, avoid creating new ones. leaving a burning fire unattended and any time is prohibited. make sure it is dead out when you leave!
  • Planning Your Trip: Before you go, contact the local ranger station for maps, trail information, and forage availability for the area you want to visit.
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