Camping Season Starting In Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Campgrounds in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest are headed to one of the busiest weekends of the year.
Forest Service spokesperson Robin DeMario says Memorial Day weekend is special.
"This is, sort of like, the kickoff to the camping season in the national forest," said DeMario. "A lot of people are heading out and want to enjoy a weekend in the woods. So, expect to encounter a lot of people."
National Forest campgrounds at higher elevations are still closed because of lingering snow. DeMario says the campgrounds that are open will be completely full by Friday evening.
The holiday weekend also brings large crowds to the hiking trails in the national forest. DeMario says people coming from areas where there's no snow need to be aware of different conditions in the forest.
"Coming over the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, the situation isn't the same," DeMario said. "Folks just need to be aware that if they plan to do any higher elevation hiking, they have to have the correct equipment to do it over the snow."
Most of the trails in the popular Alpine Lakes Wilderness are still under patchy to deep snow, and continuous deep snow above 3,500 feet elevation.
Also, most high elevation roads and trails are still impassable due to snow in the Chelan and Entiat Ranger Districts. Entiat River Road is accessible to just beyond Silver Falls.
Across both the Cle Elum and Naches Districts snow is hanging in areas over 4,000 feet elevation.
Hikers will encounter more snow when traveling near north facing slopes, which get less sunshine during the day.
The forest service recommends calling the ranger districts individually to get accurate conditions and receive advice on which campgrounds suit specific needs of campers.
- The contact numbers are below:
- Chelan Ranger District (509) 682-4900
- Cle Elum Ranger District (509) 852-1100
- Entiat Ranger District (509) 784-4700
- Wenatchee River Ranger District (509) 548-2550 or 548-2551
- Methow Valley Ranger District (509) 996-4000
- Naches Ranger District (509) 653-1401