Camping permits for the PCT within North Cascades National Park

Edit: this blog post is out of date.

Please read this important information about camping within North Casacdes National Park. It was provided by our partners, the wilderness rangers at North Cascades National Park. For general information, see  the North Cascades National Park permit page and our PCT permit page.

Camps within the North Cascades National Park are quota sites with a limited total capacity.  In order to ensure that camps are not overbooked, all backcountry use within North Cascades National Park requires a backcountry permit issued by the Park. The PCT Long-distance Permit does not cover overnight camping within North Cascades National Park.

Camping is only allowed at designated sites (no dispersed camping), and permits are limited to the number of sites and site capacity of each backcountry camp.  Although the PCT corridor is one of the busiest in the park, the permit system helps distribute people throughout the corridor, to designated sites that are set off the main trail and away from each other, so that the experience for all hikers is one of solitude, with minimal impact to the corridor’s wilderness resources.

There are several methods for PCT hikers to obtain a North Cascades National Park camping permit:

  1. Long-distance hikers or section hikers heading north from Stevens Pass who are resupplying in Stehekin can obtain a Park backcountry permit at the Golden West Visitor Center near the Stehekin Post Office.
  2. Southbound hikers can get a Park permit from one of two possible permit issuing stations that they would pass on the way to their trailhead: either the North Cascades National Park Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount, WA or the Methow Valley Ranger Station of Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in Winthrop, WA.
  3. Northbound hikers can get a Park permit by making a phone call from Stevens Pass to the North Cascades National Park Wilderness Information Center (360.854.7245) in order to secure a backcountry permit.

Note:  Many hikers pass through the 17 miles of the Park without spending the night.  If hikers are not spending the night at any camp, a Park permit is not necessary.

Permits are required year-round for overnight use. They are site-specific, free, quota, first-come, first served and must be picked up in person. No reservations are allowed.

Author: Jack "Found" Haskel

As the Trail Information Manager, Jack works to connect people to the PCT. He's involved with a wide variety of projects that help the trail, the trail's users and the community that surrounds the experience. He has thru-hiked (Pacific Crest Trail in 2006; Colorado Trail in 2008; Continental Divide Trail in 2010) and is an obsessed weekend warrior.