William O. Douglas Wilderness: Okanogan-Wenatchee

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Near Chelan, Washington

William O. Douglas Wilderness: Okanogan-Wenatchee does not offer reservations through Recreation.gov. Please take a look at the area details below for more information about visiting this location. Enjoy your visit!


The William O. Douglas Wilderness was designated  in 1984 and now encompasses 169,081 acres. This Wilderness is namedfor the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas who was noted for his concern for civil rights and environmental protection issues during his career. Douglas made his home at Goose Prairie, adjacent to the Wilderness near Bumping River, and immortalized the area in his popular book, "Of Men and Mountains."

While significant portions of the William O. Douglas Wilderness are high elevation forest, the overall topography is varied. The western peaks are characterized by high elevation lakes in a forested setting, and the eastern slopes drop to mid-elevation pine forest, alpine peaks, bare ridges, and exposed basalt tables and points. The southern portion of the Wilderness spreads out into a large plateau, where the forest thins and 59 lakes lie among another 200 or so ponds and pools. Members of large herds of elk and mule deer reside here with fishers, foxes, mountain goats and grouse. 

As much as 120 inches of precipitation per year falls on the western side of the area, while the eastern side may get as little as 20 to 24 inches. Snow usually starts to fall by November, and often lingers in patches in higher elevations until mid-summer. Many trails cross the William O. Douglas Wilderness which ranges in elevation from 3,00 to 7,000 feet. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, which extends from Mexico to Canada, runs along the 27 mile crest of this Wilderness.

Help protect your wilderness by following wilderness regulations and using Leave No Trace principles.

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