February 02, 2011
The Enchantments comprise pristine peaks and basins within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. This jewel of the Cascades is finally entering the 21st century. Starting February 28th people seeking coveted overnight permits for prime backpacking weekends in the Enchantments can register online with the forest service.
Spokeswoman Susan Peterson said the electronic reservation system will speed up the permitting process considerably.
The Enchantments region is very popular with outdoor enthusiasts. To protect these sensitive natural areas the Forest Service limits the total number of overnight permits to 1,500 throughout the June-October season, with further zone-specific limitations.
For over 20 years, the Wenatchee River Ranger District has hand processed applications. The District decided to make the move to the new system because of increasing volumes of applications, lengthy and costly processing, and dated technology.
Peterson said the on-line system will free up resources that can be better spent elsewhere.
The online permits for the Enchantments will remain $5 per person per day, but they will come with a new $6 reservation fee. Peterson said that fee is strictly to cover costs.
Applications for the Enchantment overnight wilderness permit season, June 15- Oct 15, 2011, will be accepted beginning February 28, 2011 at www.recreation.gov.
Help is available For people that do not have internet, calling 877-444-6777.
The on-line reservation system is only for Enchantment overnight permits; there will be no changes in day-use permits, which will remain self-issued at trailheads.