We know spring is still a month away, and summer is even farther, but if you intend on doing some camping and backpacking this year, it’s time to start planning. You may or may not know that several popular Washington trails and camp areas require advance reservations, with some using lottery systems. So with that in mind, here’s when to make reservations for summer camping and hiking in Washington.

Let’s check out four of the most popular or sought after summer outdoor destinations.



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If you’d like to try your luck at visiting the Enchantments aka the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, you can apply for the lottery now until March 1st, 2023. You will be able to see lottery results on March 17th, 2023 and have until the end of the month to turn those results into reservations. It costs $6 to enter the lottery making it well worth entering if you’re serious about visiting the area.

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 is open February 21st-March 7th, 2023. 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 6th-17th, 2023. Lottery results will be given on March 24th, and winners will be assigned a time between March 27th-April 25th 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.

Olympic National Park


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You might as well do a coastal backpacking trip if you live in the PNW. Olympic National Park will open it’s reservations on April 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, and then you will be able to log in to your account and print the permit yourself.