The winter chill might make it difficult to think of warmer days, but spring is still around the corner, so what better time to start planning your outdoor adventures? You’ll know the most popular hiking and camping spots in Washington for their sprawling vistas and postcard-worthy views, but if you want to see them for yourself, you’ll need to do a bit of planning. Several Washington trails and camp areas require advance reservations, with some using lottery systems to determine who gets a spot.

So if you’re ready to start filling your spring and summer itinerary, here are some of the most in-demand outdoor destinations, and when to reserve them.


If you’d like to try your luck at visiting the Enchantments aka the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, the lottery opens on February 15, 2024 at 7:00 AM PST. It will stay open until February 29, 2024 at midnight, with results revealed on March 7, 2024. If you’re lucky enough to snag a spot, you’ll have until the end of the month to turn those results into reservations. The lottery only costs $6 to enter, which is a small price to pay for this morning view.

Mount Rainier National Park

Easily Washington’s most iconic park, Mount Rainier is a wonderful place to visit year round. However, its hundreds of trails are best enjoyed during summer. Rainier also works on a lottery system which opens on February 12, 2024 at 7:00 AM PST. This lottery lets winners access permit inventory early and book a reservation from May 1, 2024 to October 31, 2024.

You can still enjoy day access without applying for the lottery but if you’d like to do a longer hike like the 93 mile Wonderland Trail, you will need to plan ahead. Entering the lottery costs $6 and there is a $20 reservation fee after the fact.

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North Cascades National Park

North Cascades is a park where making reservations for popular areas is definitely a must. If you’re going to more remote parts of the park, you could be okay with getting a walk up permit from one of the parks ranger stations.

The early access lottery is open March 4 – March 15, 2024. Lottery results will be given on March 22, and winners will be assigned a time between March 25 – April 23, 2024 to log-in to the site and make a reservation. You’ll be charged a $6 non-refundable transaction fee and a refundable $20 fee to complete the permit reservation should you win. The General On-Sale period for reservations opens on April 29, 2024 at 7:00 AM PST.

Olympic National Park


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If you live in the PNW, you can’t not do a coastal backpacking trip. Olympic National Park will open it’s reservations on April 15th at 7:00 AM PST for May 15th through October 15th.

Reservations cost $6 a trip and you will also need to pay wilderness fees of $8 per person per night. Once reserved, your permit will be issued by WIC staff 5-7 days before the start of your trip. You will then be able to log in to your account and print the permit yourself.

Happy trails!