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Enchantment Overnight Permit Lottery 2015:

The 2015 ENCHANTMENT LOTTERY is now open!

From June 15 to October 15 reserved permits are required for overnight trips. Since demand for overnight permits exceeds supply a lottery is held annually.

The lottery process is a TWO step process. In the first step, the applicant must select an entry date and location and pay the 6.00 non-refundable application fee.

After March 6th, applicants must return to and login to their account to determine the results of the lottery. Successful applicants must complete step Two. In step two, successful applicants must provide an exit date and number of persons in the party (up to 8 maximum) and pay for their permit ($5 per person/per day).

  • Apply NOW through March 3, 2015 (11:59 p.m. PST) for the 2015 season. All applications received during this period will be randomly drawn on March 6th.

  • Fees: One trip award is granted per person, per zone, per season. A non-refundable application fee of $6.00 will be charged for each application. Each application may choose a preferred camping zone date choice and up to 2 alternate choices. Successful applicants will be charged a permit fee of $5.00 per person, per day.

  • The Core Zone permit allows you to camp in any zone during your trip. You must only camp in the zone indicated on your permit for all other zones (i.e. Stuart, Colchuck zones).

  • Cancellation Policy: Awarded trips may be cancelled with a refund of the permit fee but with a Cancellation Fee of $10.00 up to 22 days before the trip. There is no refund of the permit fee if the trip is cancelled within 21 days of the trip start date. Please cancel your trip through Recreation.Gov even if refunds are not due, so that another group has the chance to book a permit

  • Self-issued permits are available at trailheads annually from October 16th thru June 14th.

Enchantment Permit Area, WA

part ofOkanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, US Forest Service


The Enchantment Permit Area is contained within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. Due to the overwhelming popularity of this unique area, all overnight campers must obtain a permit if visiting from June 15 through October 15.

The area is typified by rugged glaciated peaks and a series of lakes ranging from 4,400 feet to 7,800 feet in elevation. The lower trails and lakes are forested, while the upper lakes are within a largely alpine environment. Trails are in places quite primitive with steep, rocky sections.

Day users need only fill out a free day-use permit, available at any of the three trailheads accessing The Enchantment Permit Area.

Demand for overnight permits far exceeds the number available, therefore advance reservations are highly recommended. A small number of permits are available on an unreserved walk-in basis.

Through the remainder of the year, from October 16 through June 14, all visitors, both overnight and day use, only need to fill out free unlimited permits available at all three trailheads.

The overall Enchantment Permit Area is divided into five permit zones:

  • Core Enchantment Zone
  • Snow Lake Zone
  • Colchuck Lake Zone
  • Stuart Lake Zone
  • Eightmile/Caroline Permit Zone

Click here for a map of the permit zones.

Camping is restricted to the zone for which your permit is issued. The only exception is that those obtaining a Core Enchantment Permit are also allowed to camp in any of the other zones. All visitors are welcome to day hike beyond their zone, meaning those with a Snow or Colchuck Zone Permit may also visit the Core Enchantments, but on a day-use only basis.

There are three methods of obtaining an overnight permit during the permit season:

1. Apply during the annual permit lottery 2. Make a reservation online after the pre-season lottery 3. Obtain a daily walk-in permit during the permit season

Click here for detailed information and steps required to obtain a permit for the Enchantment Permit Area.

Trips into the Enchantment Wilderness Area can range from overnight to multiple days. It is imperative hikers and backpackers evaluate their comfort and ability in various environments when choosing their route, as many hikes are strenuous and somewhat primitive, while others offer easier climbs.

A trip to the Core Enchantment Zone is recommended for experienced hikers. Visitors typically plan at least three or four days for this trip. Steep and challenging terrain make travel with an overnight pack strenuous. For most people, five days would be a leisurely visit, with time for side trips.

In the other zones, a quick overnight trip is reasonable for most people. A three day trip to Colchuck or Snow Lakes allows time for a day trip to the Core Enchantments for fishing or exploration. Likewise, while many find a two day, one night trip to Eightmile or Stuart Lakes to be adequate, while others take a few extra days to relax or fish.

Know Before You Go
  • Rules and regulations for the Enchantment Permit area are strictly enforced; click here for detailed information about campfires, party-size, dogs, stock, wildlife and more.

  • Permits are required for overnight camping and day use; click here for more information.

  • Weather in the Cascades changes rapidly between extremes, impacting visits and trips to the Enchantment Permit Area. Click here for current local weather conditions.

  • Click here for more information about Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Contact Information

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Wenatchee River Ranger District
600 Sherbourne
Leavenworth, WA 98826
Phone: 509-548-2550
Fax: 509-548-5817

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Supervisors Office
Phone: 509-664-9200
Fax: 509-6649280
TTY: 509-664-9201 helps you discover and book trips to all of America's public places.
Learn more about us, or about any of our agency partners below:
Bureau of Land Management Federal Highway Administration National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration Smithsonian Institution USDA Forest Service US Army Corps of Engineers US Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service Bureau of Engraving and Printing Tennessee Valley Authority Bureau of Reclamation National Archives Records Administration