Obsidian Limited Entry Area

Willamette National Forest


Obsidian Limited Entry Permits are no longer available. Visitors to the Obsidian area must now get a Central Cascades Wilderness Permit. See links below: 

Central Cascades Wilderness Overnight Permits - Full Season in Advance 

Central Cascades Wilderness Overnight Permits - 7 Days in Advance 

Central Cascades Wilderness - Day Use 

This unique landscape in the Three Sisters Wilderness encompasses crystal clear streams, wildflower meadows, rugged mountain views, young lava flows and obsidian cliffs. The cliffs were an important source of naturally occurring volcanic glass used by Native Americans to construct tools. 

The area contains a number of lakes, streams and springs, including Obsidian Falls, which can be viewed from the trail. The trail also passes through lava flows and over ridges that offer breathtaking mountain views. Cross-country travel skills are necessary to access the high lakes and mountain peaks. 

Backpacking, day hiking, mountaineering and horseback riding are the most common forms of recreation in the area during the short summer season, after snow has receded. Opportunities for nature photography also abound. 


There are no facilities within the Limited Entry Area or the Wilderness Area. Visitors must practice "Leave No Trace" skills, including properly disposing of human and pet waste and carrying out all trash. Facilities at the trailhead include parking, bathrooms, picnic tables, stock hitching posts and wilderness and interpretive information about the area. 


Access to the Obsidian Limited Entry Area begins at the Obsidian Trailhead, located just off historic Highway 242. The Obsidian Trail #3528 climbs more than 2,000 feet in elevation, branching to the left to connect to Trail #4336. Both trails connect to the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, providing a popular 12-mile, day-long loop for hiking or riding. Hikers and equestrians should obtain a detailed map of the area before planning a trip, and inquire in advance about trail conditions, particularly early in the season. Access to the trailhead is dependent on McKenzie Highway (Oregon Highway 242), which is closed to motor vehicles until mid-June. Snow may be present on the trail well into early summer.

Notifications and Alerts

Permit & Season Information

The Obsidian Limited Entry Area permit no longer is required; all visitors must now obtain a Central Cascades Wilderness Permit for trips in the Obsidian area.

Need to Know

Fee Policy

The only fee for the permit is the $6.00 reservation fee.

A valid Recreation Pass is required if using the Obsidian Trailhead.

Cancellation Policy

Until the permit is printed, changes to the group size are allowed with no additional fees, if quota space is available.

Changes to the entry date will require you to cancel your current reservation and reserve the desired date if space is available. A new reservation fee will be applied.

The $6.00 reservation fee is non-refundable, in the case of cancellation.

If you are unable to use your reservation, please cancel it so others may have the opportunity to obtain a permit.

Contact Information

Mailing Address

57600 McKenzie Hwy McKenzie Bridge OR 97413

Phone Number


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