HIGHWAY AND PASS CONDITIONS INFORMATION
For current highway and pass driving conditions please call (888) 766-4636.
NORTHWEST AVALANCHE CENTER
For current snow avalanche information for Washington State please call (206)
526-6677. Avalanche forecast information is also available on the internet at
Sno-park permits are on sale. A 1-day permit is $7, and a season permit is
$20. Proceeds from State Sno-Park permit sales are used exclusively for
non-motorized Sno-Park facilities. The money is used to provide snow removal,
sanitary facilities, trail grooming, signing, mapping, parking lot construction,
and maintaining the Sno-Park program.
OUTDOOR RECREATION INFORMATION CENTER (ORIC)
The ORIC is a joint Forest Service and National Park Service office located at
the REI flagship store in Seattle (222 Yale Avenue North). Outdoor recreation
information for National Forests and National Parks located in Washington State
can be obtained by calling (206) 470-4060.
TRAIL PARK PROGRAM
The Wenatchee National Forest is collecting fees through the experimental Trail
Park program. A Trail Park pass is required for parking at more than 150
Wenatchee Forest trailheads. Under the Trail Park program, purchase of a pass
is required year-round for parking at certain trailheads, and allow those users
of Wenatchee Forest trails an opportunity to help sustain and maintain trails
for future generations.
Fees are $3 for a daily pass and $25 for an annual pass. Individuals who have a
Golden Age or Golden Access Passport will be able to buy a Trail Park pass for
half price. For those wishing to purchase a Trail Park pass from the Wenatchee
National Forest, purchases can be made through the mail or over the phone.
Eighty percent of the revenues collected from sales on the Wenatchee National
Forest are returned to this forest for trail and trailhead maintenance. For
more information about the Trail Park program, please contact the Wenatchee
National Forest Headquarters office at 509-662-4335.
NORTHWEST INTERPRETIVE ASSOCIATION (NWIA)
The NWIA is a non-profit association developed in response to visitor needs for
interpretive materials. The outlets located in the Naches, Cle Elum,
Leavenworth, Lake Wenatchee, and Chelan Ranger District offices, and at the
Wenatchee Forest Headquarters office all carry wide selections of maps, books,
posters, ink stamps, pictures, and postcards.
SNOWMOBILING AND AVALANCHE SAFETY
Winter recreationists are enjoying the abundance of snow that has accumulated in
the Wenatchee National Forest. Unfortunately, along with the accumulated
snowfall has come an increase in the potential for avalanches and snowmobile
Conditions are ripe for avalanches in many areas of the Wenatchee National
Forest. A snowmobile-triggered avalanche caused a fatality over the weekend in
the Blewett Pass area. The Northwest Avalanche Center is advising that
recreationists can expect considerable avalanche danger above 5,000 feet and
moderate avalanche danger below that level. Keep in mind, though, that the
avalanche danger can change dramatically in micro-environments, such as small
valleys and side canyons, where avalanche danger can be extreme.
According to the Northwest Avalanche Center forecast for January 20, along the
Cascade east slopes, "a weaker snowpack structure has been loaded by several
layers of unstable wind slab. This has created significant instability on
steeper terrain above 5,000 to 6,000 feet, especially on southeast through
northeast exposures. Although natural avalanches are unlikely in this area
(where the snowmobile fatality occurred) below about 5,000 to 6,000 feet, they
remain possible at higher elevations, and larger groups of snowmobilers should
use caution since such heavy loading may still result in deeper releases of snow
In many areas, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are occurring
at the same time. Ranger District personnel encourage all winter sports
enthusiasts to "watch out for the other guy" and share the recreation resource.
Snowmobilers are asked to approach pedestrian recreationists at a moderate speed
and maintain that speed until well beyond them. Skiers and snowshoers who
prefer to visit areas where snow machines will not be found are encouraged to
contact the nearest ranger station office for suggestions and for current
Some ranger districts of the Wenatchee National Forest have taken steps to
provide winter recreation opportunities for specific uses. Some roads have been
signed closed to four-wheeled vehicles to provide snowmobiles with access.
Snowmobilers, please reacquaint yourselves with the safety rules that apply to
snowmobile use. Be a defensive driver. Be prepared for pedestrians,
intersections, approaching vehicles, and bad weather conditions, and know the
terrain you are going to ride in. Ranger District personnel are good contacts
for information on these roads.
Ranger Station folks can also suggest cross-country ski trail routes in areas
closed to motorized use of any kind, including snow machines. Snow grooming
machines have been operating in many areas of the Wenatchee Forest. Again,
Ranger Stations will have information on areas being groomed and the schedule of
grooming. Please keep in mind that grooming schedules may be erratic due to
machinery breakdowns and extreme weather conditions.
For additional information on areas of local avalanche hazard, as well as
up-to-date snow conditions, please contact the appropriate Wenatchee National
Forest Ranger Station. These offices have information on avalanche avoidance
and the location of avalanche safe recreation areas.
During the winter a daily avalanche advisory is also available from the
Northwest Avalanche Forecast Center by calling (206) 526-6677 or on the internet
District Ranger Al Murphy: Chelan Ranger District
OFFICE HOURS: 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The Chelan Ranger Station is located at 428 West Woodin Avenue, on the
lakeshore, across the old bridge from downtown Chelan. We are currently in the
middle of an extensive office remodel project, so please excuse the mess.
Check out the information board located on the front porch at the Chelan Ranger
Station. This bulletin board provides information to the public during
CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: Echo Ridge Nordic Area is open with 14 miles of
groomed cross-country ski trails. Snow conditions are adequate, though variable
with occasional warmer weather. As of January 19, Echo Ridge had 18 inches of
snow on the ground. Adult skiers pay a fee of just $5.00 per day to ski, and
children under 12 ski free.
ROADS AND SNO-PARKS: During winter months, roads on the Chelan District
are managed primarily for snowmobile use, since most roads are snow-covered.
Currently, most forest roads, excepting those which lead to Sno-Parks, are
closed to trucks and cars. Roads leading to Sno-Parks in Echo Valley and
25-Mile Creek are open and plowed regularly. For current information on
closures and snow conditions, call or stop by the Ranger Station.
SNO-PARK PERMITS: Sno-Park permits allow recreationists to park at
special winter recreation facilities maintained through State funding. These
permits, which are either daily or season passes, may be purchased at the Chelan
Ranger Station. The funds generated through permit sales pay for snow removal,
grooming, signs, sanitary facilities, parking lot construction, and other
benefits for winter recreationists. Daily permits are $7.00 and season permits
are $20.00. Snowmobilers traveling to the Chelan District must make sure they
have their Sno-Park permits in hand. Recently, though some recreationists have
paid for their Sno-Park passes through their snowmobile registration, they did
not receive their stickers. If this happens to you, contact your county's
vehicle registration office before leaving home, and make arrangements.
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE: For those camping in the North Cascades National
Park or the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, camping permits need to be
obtained from the National Park Service at Stehekin or at the Chelan Ranger
District office. *Please note--These permits cannot be issued over the phone.
NORTHWEST INTERPRETIVE ASSOCIATION (NWIA): We carry an excellent
selection of maps, books, posters, patches, pictures, stuffed toy Smokey Bears,
Smokey Bear puppets, pins, and postcards at the Ranger Station. Also, stop by
for some free fire prevention toys and collectibles!
Entiat Ranger District
OFFICE HOURS: 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
WINTER RECREATION: Sno-Park permits are required this year at the Entiat
River Sno-Park and the Mad River Sno-Park. The Mad River Sno-Park has very
limited parking, with only enough room for 10 vehicles with trailers.
Starting this year, the Entiat Ranger District will be grooming snowmobile
trails out of the Mad River Sno-Park connecting into groomed trails coming out
of the Lake Wenatchee area. Groomed routes on the Entiat Ranger District will
be route #7 Mad River to French Corral on the #5800 Road, route #9 Moe Ridge to
Entiat Ridge back to French Corral on the #5810 and #5200 Roads, and route #10
from the Indian Creek to the Sugarloaf area then back to French Corral. For a
map of groomed trails in this area stop by the Entiat Ranger District office or
call (509) 784-1511.
The Shady Pass area will also be groomed again this year, but this year
more routine grooming will take place. Additional State funds have been made
available to allow for weekly grooming.
Currently, grooming has been completed on route #7 from Mad River Sno-Park to
French Corral, route #10, and Route #9.
TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS: Please take note of travel restrictions in the
French Corral area. Route #7 from Van Creek Road #7520 up to French
Corral Road #5200 is open to snowmobile travel from 5 p.m. to midnight weekdays
(Monday through Friday) and is open on weekends from 5 p.m. Friday to 5 p.m.
Sunday. Van Creek Road #7520 up to route #7 and Entiat Ridge Road #5200 from
French Corral out to Miners Ridge is closed to public travel at all
times. Restrictions are due to heavy logging traffic.
For more information please call the Entiat Ranger District at (509) 784-1511,
or call 800-233-0321 for information on all groomed trails in the state (this
800 phone number is provided by the Washington State Parks Winter Recreation
ROAD CONDITIONS: Expect logging truck traffic on the Tyee Ridge Road
5700 and on the Entiat Ridge Road #5200. Logging will be taking place during
most of the winter around Sugarloaf, with heavy logging truck traffic on the
Entiat Ridge Road #5200. The #5200 Road will be CLOSED to all recreation travel
from French Corral out to Miners Ridge. Snowmobile grooming will be routed
around logging areas.
A large number of trees that were burned in the 1994 Tyee Creek Fire are now
falling onto roads and trails, and creating hazards. While traveling in the
forest, watch for falling trees and be prepared to remove logs, limbs, and
debris from the road. When cutting logs and limbs from the road, if possible
remove the material from the entire roadway. This will reduce the hazard to the
next vehicle that passes by.
CAMPGROUNDS: All campgrounds are now closed on the Entiat Ranger
Lake Wenatchee Ranger District
OFFICE HOURS: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Lake
Wenatchee Ranger Station is located at 22976 Hwy. 207, 9 miles north of the
Coles Corner junction with State Highway 2.
SNO-PARK PERMITS: Sno-Park permits are on sale at the Lake Wenatchee
Ranger Station and at Parkside and Midway grocery stores. One-day permits sell
for $7.00 and a seasonal permit is $20.00. There are no 3-day permits for sale
ROADS: Sears Creek Road #6404 is closed at Canyon Creek due to ongoing
flood repair projects.
NOTE - SEASONAL ROAD CLOSURES ARE IN EFFECT. For all road closure
information or updates, please contact the ranger station.
LOGGING: Logging is in progress in the Sugarloaf area. Expect heavy
logging truck traffic through January on Road #5200 and Van Creek Road #7520
to Eagle Creek Road. Logging is also occurring in the Natapoc area. Log
trucks will be using Road #6601 to River Road.
SNOWMOBILING: The snow grooming program is in full operation on the Lake
Wenatchee Ranger District. For updated trail information please call the Lake
Wenatchee Recreation Club snowmobile grooming hotline at (509) 763-3858.
Route #7 is closed at the junction of Road #7801 and Van Creek Road #7520 due to
logging operations. This route is open week nights from 5:00 p.m. to midnight
and weekends from 5:00 p.m. Friday to 5:00 p.m. Sunday.
Coulter Creek Road is closed to snowmobiles through January due to logging
SNOWMOBILES ARE NOT ALLOWED ON PLOWED ROADS unless otherwise posted.
FOREST INFORMATION RADIO: When traveling in the area tune your radio to
AM 1610 to hear updated forest information. Wenatchee Valley weather
forecasts may be obtained by calling (509) 782-8800, code #1020. For road
information contact the Mountain Pass Hotline at 1-888-SNO-INFO
(1-888-766-4636). For current avalanche reports call (206) 526-6677.
For statewide cross-country skiing information call 1-800-233-0321. When
planning your outing be sure to visit or call the Lake Wenatchee Ranger Station
for updates on trail and road conditions.
Leavenworth Ranger District
OFFICE HOURS: Business hours are 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through
Friday. We are closed from 12:00 a.m. till 12:45 p.m. daily for lunch.
The Leavenworth Ranger District is located on Highway 2 on the east end of
Leavenworth. The station has voice mail allowing callers to leave a message or
listen to pre-recorded information tapes at any time, seven days a week.
ROAD CLOSURE: Beginning this week, Beehive Road #9712 will be closed
to the public during weekdays and open to snowmobiles only on weekends between 9
a.m. and 3 p.m. throughout the winter. Road closures will remain in effect
on President's Day. Winter logging is resuming for the second year on the
"Beehive Thin" and the "West Thin" projects administered by the Leavenworth
Ranger District to promote forest health and to reduce fuels in the area. In
order to minimize soil disturbance and soil compaction from mechanized
equipment, logging operations are being accomplished now over the snow.
TRAIL PARK PASS: A Trail Park pass is required on the Leavenworth
District at the following trailheads--Chiwaukum, Hatchery, Icicle Ridge, Snow
Lakes, 4th of July, Chatter Creek, Jack Creek, Blackjack, Ingalls Creek,
Eightmile, Icicle Creek, and Stuart/Colchuck. These passes are required year
TRAIL CONDITIONS: Snow currently covers all trails on the Leavenworth
Ranger District. Some of the trails have large numbers of logs across them.
These trails include Ingalls, Jack Creek, French Creek, Icicle Creek, and
possibly others. An Alpine Lakes Wilderness Trip Planner is available from the
Ranger Station to assist with trip planning.
CAMPGROUNDS: CAUTION, YOU MAY WAKE UP TO A LOT OF SNOW! BE SURE YOU CAN GET
OUT. Eightmile, Bridge Creek, Johnny Creek, Ida Creek, Chatter Creek,
Rock Island, and Blackpine Campgrounds are on non-fee status at this time.
The gates are closed at Eightmile and upper and lower Johnny Creek Campgrounds
but these campgrounds can still be used by walk-in visitors. The other
campgrounds are accessible by vehicle until the snow becomes too deep. No
running water, toilet tissue, or garbage dumpsters are provided during the
Recreationists can call up to 6 months in advance to make reservations for one
of the three large campground group sites located on the Leavenworth Ranger
Tumwater Campground is closed. Reservations for Tumwater Campground for
1998 can be made 8 months in advance for individual sites and 1 year in advance
for the large groupsite by calling (1-800-280-2267).
Tronsen Campground is closed indefinitely, and Bonanza Campground
is also closed.
ENCHANTMENTS: Regarding 1998 overnight permits, please call the Ranger
Station to be put on a mailing list for our new mail-in application and
information sheet. Permits are required for overnight use from June 15 through
An Alpine Lakes Wilderness Trip Planner is available with detailed information
about the Wilderness and specific regulations designed to protect the fragile
Cle Elum Ranger District
OFFICE HOURS: Office hours are Monday through Friday 7:45 a.m. to
5:00 p.m., and Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The Ellensburg Chamber of Commerce provides Forest Service information from 8:00
a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Forest Service maps are available at
Many Visions Fine Arts and Crafts Store, 113 E. First St., in Cle Elum, Monday
through Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
The Snoqualmie Pass Visitor Center is open Thursday through Sunday 8:30 a.m. to
4:30 p.m. until March 1998. The Visitor Center provides Forest Service
information, maps, and Sno-Park permits.
ROAD CLOSURE: South Fork Manastash Road #31 is closed daily to
snowmobiles due to logging activity that is occurring on the weekdays. This
road will be plowed through February 1998 from the Manastash Sno-Park to Buck
Meadows. To avoid the potential for accidents, only logging traffic is
permitted from 5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The road is
gated at the Sno-Park and closed to wheeled vehicle use until spring.
Snowmobile use and other non-wheeled vehicle recreational use is permitted
nights and weekends. Alternative access to Quartz Mountain, Buck Meadows and
North Fork Taneum is available via the Taneum Sno-Park.
SEASONAL ROAD CLOSURES: Seasonal road closures are in effect to promote
safety and prevent excessive damage to undeveloped roads from rutting and
erosion caused by wheeled vehicle use. Closed roads are signed. Most high
elevation roads are covered by snow. Visitors should check at the Ranger
Station for updated conditions and specific road closures.
SNOWMOBILING: Trail grooming for snowmobile use continues on the Cle
Elum Ranger District. Trail grooming is dependent on weather, trail conditions
and equipment conditions. Most grooming will commence again with new snow.
A Sno-Park Pass is required to park in all designated Sno-Park parking
lots. The cost is $20.00 for an annual parking pass and $7.00 for a 1-day
parking pass. Sno-Park passes are available at the Cle Elum Ranger Station, Farm
& Home Store in Cle Elum, Ellensburg Chamber of Commerce, Mountain High Sports
in Ellensburg, Lake Easton State Park, Snoqualmie Pass Visitor Center, and Snack
& Shack at Crystal Springs Sno-Park.
Snowmobilers in the Taneum/Manastash drainages will encounter route changes and
re-routes. Please pick up a route map and realize that road closures will
impact trail routes and safety. Recent road closures will have barriers in
place that were not previously there. (See road information regarding Manastash
WILDERNESS: Each year, more and more people are riding snowmobiles into
designated Wilderness areas, which is cause for concern for land managers, the
public, and many snowmobile groups. This may be happening for a variety of
reasons--many snowmobilers many not know where the Wilderness boundaries are, or
may not realize the area is closed. The law prohibits the use of mechanized or
motorized equipment, including snowmobiles, in Wilderness. For more information
about snowmobiling opportunities please contact Washington State Parks and
Recreation at (360) 902-8552. For Wilderness information, please contact the
nearest Ranger Station.
WINTER RECREATION: The Snoqualmie Pass Visitor Information Center will
be offering their guided interpretive snowshoe walks again this winter. Call
the center at (425) 434-6111 to schedule a guided walk. Many winter recreation
opportunities abound on the Cle Elum Ranger District. Please call during
regular business hours for more specific information.
CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING/SNOWSHOEING: There are many cross-country skiing
and snowshoeing opportunities available on the Cle Elum Ranger District. There
is a non-motorized cross-country ski area off of Highway 97 near Blewett Pass.
Sno-Park permits are required. Please call the Ranger Station for other
suggestions, and learn about weather and avalanche conditions before you depart.
AVALANCHE REPORTS: All forest visitors need to be concerned about
avalanche safety. Avalanche information is available, please call (206)
526-6677 for current avalanche information for the Washington Cascades and
BE PREPARED--EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED: Outdoor enthusiasts should travel
prepared for winter and changing weather conditions. Daytime temperatures at
high elevations have remained below freezing. Go prepared! No matter
what the season, always take the ten essentials: flashlight/headlamp (with
spare bulbs and batteries), map, compass, extra food, extra clothing,
sunglasses, first-aid supplies, pocket knife, matches in a waterproof container,
and fire starter.
Winter driving conditions prevail on Cle Elum Ranger District Forest Service
Roads. Please travel prepared for snow and ice conditions (carry chains, extra
clothing, food, and water).
TRAILS: 1998 Trail Park Passes are now available. A Trail Park Pass is
required to park at most trailheads on the Cle Elum Ranger District. The cost
is $25.00 for an annual pass and $3.00 for a single day pass.
Naches Ranger District
Hearing impaired customers can speed their calls by dialing extension 239 as
soon as the call is answered by the automatic attendant. If your TTY does not
tell you when the call has been answered, wait approximately 15 seconds after
dialing and then dial the extension number.
OFFICE HOURS: 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. Forest maps may be
purchased at the Naches Ranger Station during office hours. They are also
available for purchase at local stores in the area. Other forest information is
posted on the outside bulletin board in front of the Ranger Station. The foyer
at the Ranger Station is open 24 hours a day to make handouts and forest
information available to the public during non-office hours.
WINTER RECREATION: State Route 410 to the west of the Bumping River Road
turnoff has had winter road maintenance and the Pleasant Valley cross-country
Ski Trail #999 is accessible. The loop to the north of State Route 410 is
considered easy up to the Pleasant Valley Campground, and more difficult west of
the campground to the end of the northwest loop. The trail to the south is
signed "More Difficult". This section of trail is located within the William O.
Douglas Wilderness and traverses along the American River. The entire loop is
approximately 14 miles in length.
CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: Grooming has been done on the cross-country ski
trail located in the North Fork Tieton. This trail is accessed from U.S.
Highway 12 and Tieton Road #1200 west of Clear Lake in the White Pass area. It
is 25 kilometers long. Portions of the trail were reconstructed in 1997 to
improve skiing conditions. The Washington State Sno-Park program funded setting
a base on 4.5 miles of the North Fork Tieton Road #1207 from Tieton Road #1200
to the Scatter Creek trailhead; no tracks will be set on the trail. Difficulty
level ranges from beginner to advanced beginner. Since this is a new program
this year, the Forest Service is encouraging cross-country skiers to try the
trail and provide feedback.
There is a 15K (9.3 miles) groomed and tracked cross-country ski trail at White
Pass; there is a fee to use this trail. Backcountry skiers may downhill
cross-country ski by using the White Pass ski lift to access Hogback Ridge.
Goose Egg cross-country ski trail is accessed from U.S. Highway 12 and the
Tieton Road #1200. This trail is 7K (4 miles) with an easy rating. Pleasant
Valley cross-country ski trail is accessed from State Route 410 near Hells
Crossing; this trail is 22K (a 14 mile loop) and has an easy to most-difficult
North Fork Tieton Road #1207, Round Mountain Road #1200-830 and Clear Creek Road
1200-840 are all closed to snowmobile use.
SNOWMOBILING: Trail grooming is going strong now and recent heavy
snowfalls have kept the snow groomers very busy! Areas on the district that
were recently groomed on January 17 include: Forest Service Road #1000 (South
Fork Tieton), Road #1200-725 (Airstrip), Road #1201 (Lost Lake), Road #1201-550
(Old Tieton), Road #1201-552 (Chimney Peaks), Road #1204 (Bear Creek Mountain),
Road #1204-750 (Grey Creek), Road #1205 (Pinegrass), Road #1205-757 (Cold Creek)
and Road #1241 (Pinetree).
In the Little Naches area, Roads #1900 and #1902 (Raven Roost) were last
groomed on January 18. Bethel Ridge Road #1500, including Road #1500-190
(Timberwolf), Road #1500-199 (Cash Prairie) and Road #1501 (Little Rattlesnake),
Road #1503 (Devils Canyon), and Road #1504 (Red Rock) were groomed on January
- The Ahtanum area was last groomed on January 16.
Current snowmobile grooming information for the Naches Ranger District and the
Ahtanum area can be obtained by calling the Naches Ranger Station or checking
the bulletin board inside the Ranger Station foyer (open 24 hours). Only roads
posted as being closed to 4-wheeled vehicles are open to snowmobilers.
Over-the-snow machines are illegal on plowed county and forest roads and within
Wilderness areas. Normile Grade on Chinook Pass is closed to snowmobile
use due to hazardous snow slopes.
WINTER SAFETY: Winter white-out conditions can set in quickly at all
elevations. Sunglasses and a compass are very important, even for short,
over-the-snow trips. All winter recreationists are discouraged from traveling
over frozen lakes and streams.
Winter travelers on skis, snowmobiles or snowshoes should stay off steep, open
slopes to avoid avalanches. Most avalanches occur during and immediately after
major storms. Ridge tops or well out into valley bottoms are preferred travel
routes. Layered clothing, extra food and hot drinks, and portable shovels are a
must for winter travelers. Remember to check with the Northwest Avalanche
Center or the Naches Ranger Station before venturing into the backcountry.
Whatever the forecast, the responsibility for safety rests with the individual.
With the recent fatalities and accidents that have occurred on the slopes with
skiers and snowboarders, here are some safety tips for winter recreationists to
follow: (1) Have skis or snowboard under control at all times. (2) When skiing
in a developed ski area, check with the ski patrol before traveling off of
groomed trails. When traveling off of a groomed trail use the "buddy system"
and always have a partner. Do not go outside areas that have been roped off or
closed by the ski facility. (3) Before skiing in the backcountry, always check
weather conditions and call the snow avalanche hotline at (206) 526-6677. Be
sure to carry the proper equipment, be knowledgeable about the area and
conditions, and always go with experienced backcountry travelers.
WINTER WILDLIFE VIEWING: Wintertime can be an excellent time of the year
to view many different types of native wildlife. With little foliage during the
snowy season there is an opportunity to see their tracks imprinted on the snow
and to observe them at a distance. To keep human impact to a minimum, avoid
loud noises, keep moving when wildlife comes into view, and give them a wide
berth. Whether on a snowmobile or skis, travelers appear to be more of a threat
when stopped than if they move steadily on their way. Do not approach deer or
other big game or try to chase them, and do not allow the family dog to run
them. (Chasing animals is illegal by Washington State law.) When animals are
forced to take flight for safety, they use both fat and energy. These are the
reserves desperately needed by animals to make it through the final weeks of
winter. If these reserves are depleted, the animals are forced to begin
utilizing bone marrow for sustenance. Also, if a chased animal falls, it may
not even have the strength to get up again. Help animals conserve their food
supply by avoiding damage to shrubbery and trees. Please remember to respect
wildlife's privacy by staying on already-established trails.
WILDLIFE VIEWING AT OAK CREEK: If you enjoy viewing large game animals
at a short distance, now is your chance! The Oak Creek Wildlife feeding area,
located just off of U.S. Highway 12 (two miles west of the junction of U.S.
Highway 12 and State Route 410), is temporarily inhabited by hungry elk and an
occasional hungry deer. The State of Washington operates this feeding area and
the bighorn sheep feeding area (located at a location off of the Old Naches
Highway) to provide the animals with supplemental feeding ensuring they make it
through the part of winter when their natural feed is hard to come by because of
NORTHWEST INTERPRETIVE ASSOCIATION (NWIA): N.W.I.A. is a non-profit
association developed in response to visitor needs for interpretive materials.
The organization benefits and supports research, education and conservation
programs throughout national forests and parks of the Pacific Northwest region.
By making a wide selection of interpretive materials readily available,
understanding and enjoyment of our natural resources can been enhanced and prove
more valuable and memorable. A portion of the money that is received from sales
is returned to the district to support interpretation.
1996 Wenatchee Mushroom Guide
(This information will remain current through the end of the
fall 1996 mushroom season.)
There has been a dramatic increase in mushroom gathering
over the past few years. The wildfires of 1994 will
continue to have an effect on that activity this spring on
the Wenatchee National Forest. This guide will serve to
inform you of the Forest Mushroom Policy as well as offer
some general information about mushrooms.
In forested areas beware of falling snags and stump holes,
especially in burn areas. For more information about
hazards in burn areas contact your local Ranger District
PERMITS, REQUIREMENTS & FEES
PERSONAL USE: No permit is required for an individual to
harvest up to 3 gallons per day of any species of mushroom
(and does not intend to sell harvested mushrooms) except
Matsutake (Pine) mushrooms. Any Matsutake mushroom
harvesting requires a commercial permit.
COMMERCIAL PERMIT: If an individual wishes to harvest more
than 3 gallons of one or more species mushroom per day, or intends
to sell harvested mushrooms, a commercial permit is
required. Harvest of any Matsutake (Pine) mushrooms
requires a permit.
BUYER'S PERMIT: A permit is required to purchase any
species mushrooms on National Forest lands. A 1996 Buyer's
permit is S500 per season.
SEASONS AND FEES: The fee for commercial mushroom harvest
during spring season, April 15 to July 31, is S5 per
consecutive day or S100 for the season. The fee for
commercial mushroom harvest during fall season, August 1 to
December 31, is S10 per consecutive day or S100 for the
season. A permit must be purchased for a 2-consecutive day
period. Consult your local Ranger District office for local
restrictions. The sale is FINAL and not subject to refund
or extension of time.
CAMPING: A camping permit is required if you camp while
commercially picking mushrooms.
WHERE CAN I PICK MUSHROOMS?
Once a permit has been purchased, mushrooms may be harvested
anywhere in the Wenatchee National Forest unless otherwise
restricted (see guide, permit, and map). Each District will
have specific information and restrictions.
Due to the delicate life cycle of mushrooms there are a few
things you can do to protect the species in your favorite
areas. These few steps may help to sustain your mushroom
picking pleasure into the future: 1) Pick only two-thirds
of the mushrooms you find. Do not collect mushrooms from
previously harvested areas; leave the rest for seed (spores)
and food for wildlife. 2) Minimize the impacts to the
actual fungus by not disturbing the ground habitat. This
means do not use rakes, dogs, pigs or other methods to dig
mushrooms. Use a knife to cut the mushroom to minimize the
impact to the fungus. 3) To maintain the integrity of Late
Successional Reserves as outlined in the President's Forest
Plan, no commercial harvesting of mushrooms will be allowed
in any Late Successional Reserve.
KNOW YOUR MUSHROOMS
Each year interest grows in harvesting wild mushrooms from
National Forests. Proper identification and determination
of whether a mushroom is edible is the responsibility of the
picker. Many forest mushroom varieties are poisonous.
There are many guide books available to assist with
identification. Some forests offer field guides for sale.
Your local library, county extension office, and local
Mycological Society are good sources of information. Our
word to the wise is: WHEN IN DOUBT… LEAVE IT IN THE
For more information regarding harvesting of mushrooms on
the Wenatchee National Forest please contact any of the
Chelan Ranger District -- (509) 682-2576
Cle Elum Ranger District -- (509) 674-4411
Entiat Ranger District -- (509) 784-1511
Lake Wenatchee Ranger District -- (509) 763-3103
Leavenworth Ranger District -- (509) 548-6977
Naches Ranger District -- (509) 653-2205
Wenatchee Forest Supervisor's Office -- (509) 662-4335