BEST AREAS FOR WILDERNESS CAMPING
WENATCHEE NATIONAL FOREST 1,618,287 acres. This huge National Forest in north-central Washington has high peaks and ridges, steep slopes, glaciers and snowfields. There are also mountain meadows with wildflowers, some rivers, many small lakes, plus 50-mile-long Lake Chelan.
Highest point is 10,541-foot Glacier Peak. Included in the region are forests of pine and Douglas fir, with spuce and hemlock. Among the wildlife are elk, deer, moose, black bear, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, mountain lion, coyote, and fox.
Wenatchee has six designated wilderness areas, consisting of about half of the 464,000-acre Glacier Peak Wilderness, 184,000 acres of the 304,000-acre Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and parts of the
146.000-acre Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness, the 105,600-acre Goat Rocks Wilderness, the 103.000-acre Henry M. Jackson Wilderness, and the 51,000-acre Norse Peak Wilderness.
Activities: Backpacking and hiking are available on more than 2,500 miles of trails, including a section of the Pacific Crest Trail (see entry page 000). Difficulty ranges from easy to strenuous. High trails are usually only snow-free from July through September.
Most trails are open to horses, and mountain bikes are allowed on many trails outside of wilderness areas. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are possible during the snow season. Kayaking and canoeing are available on the Wenatchee River. Fishing is another option. Hunting is permitted in season.
Camping Regulations: Camping and campfires are permitted in most but not all areas of the National Forest. Meadows should be avoided. A permit is required for portions of designated wilderness areas from June 15-October 15. Nightly quotas have been established.
A limited number of permits may be reserved in advance by mail. A nominal fee is charged for the permit, which must be picked up in person. Campfires are prohibited within one-quarter mile of lakes over 5,500 foot elevation in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Maximum group size in wilderness areas is 12.
For Further Information: Wenatchee National Forest, 301 Yakima Street, P.O. Box 811, Wenatchee, WA 98807; (509)662-4335.