Finally, trips into Olympic National Park’s incredible backcountry are getting a little easier to plan. Officials at Washington State’s most visited National Park have announced that on March 18th, 2019, those interested in heading into the roughly 750,000 acres of wilderness can reserve backpacking spots for their trips online.
In a press release issued by Olympic National Park, it was announced that the Olympic National Park Wilderness Information Center (WIC) will transition to an online reservation system through Recreation.gov beginning at noon on March 18, 2019. The new online reservation system will allow backpackers to check the availability of sites in real time, plan their trip and receive immediate confirmation, and streamline the park’s wilderness permit reservations.
In addition to the online option, wilderness permit reservation requests can be submitted in person at a park Wilderness Information Center during business hours. A third option for phone reservations will be functional by late April. This option will allow users to call the Recreation.gov call center at 1-877-444-6777 to obtain a reservation. The call center will be available for assistance with navigating the website beginning March 18. For new users to recreation.gov, we recommend you create an account and get familiar with the new site which was launched on October 1, 2018.
“The new online system is more efficient, convenient, and allows more time for our wilderness information specialists to answer questions and assist with trip planning,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum.
The fee for online, phone, or in person reservations will be $6.00 in addition to the regular permit fees. Wilderness Permit fees are $8.00 per person, per night for individuals 16 or older. Annual Wilderness Passes are $45.00 per person (annual flat rate) which covers regular permit fees for the pass holder.
Reservations are strongly encouraged when planning trips that include one or more nights to quota areas and group sites:
Olympic National Park Backcountry Quota Areas
For more information about wilderness permits and backpacking in Olympic National Park, please visit the park website at www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/wilderness-trip-planner.htm.
Discover a Hike a Week through Doug Scott’s Olympic National Park Area Guidebook