The newest Forest Service Recreation Report is out. Here are the most salient parts:
WENATCHEE RIVER RANGER DISTRICT
The new office phone number is (509) 548-2550.
LEAVENWORTH RANGER STATION: Office hours are 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The office is located in Leavenworth, on Highway 2 across the street from McDonald’s. LAKE WENATCHEE RANGER STATION: Closed for the winter.
ROADS: Many Forest Service roads on the district are now closed to wheeled motor vehicles and open to use by snowmobiles, skiers, snowshoers and other winter recreation activities. Contact the district office for current road conditions.
- Chiwawa Road No. 6200 is barricaded closed to wheeled motor vehicles at the Fish Lake Sno-Park.
- White River Road No. 6400 is plowed to the end of the county road at Tall Timber Ranch.
- Little Wenatchee Road No. 6500 is closed to wheeled motor vehicles at the end of the county road.
- Number Two Canyon Road #7101 is closed to wheeled motor vehicles.
- Van Creek Road #7520 is closed to wheeled motor vehicles at the junction with Eagle Creek Road.
- Icicle Road No. 7600 is closed to wheeled motor vehicles at the junction with Eightmile Road No. 7601.
- Eightmile Road No. 7601 is closed to wheeled motor vehicles.
- Beehive Road No. 9712 is closed to wheeled motor vehicles.
SNOW: As of January 31, there was 17 inches of snow at Blewett Pass, 55 inches at Stevens Pass and 52 inches at Trinity.
SNOWMOBILING: Snowmobiles are not allowed on plowed roads or any roadway that is open to wheeled motor vehicles unless otherwise posted. For snowmobile trail grooming reports on the Lake Wenatchee/Entiat Valley snowmobile trail system call (509) 763-3103 and press 5. Sno-Park permits are required for parking at Fish Lake and Airstrip Sno-Parks. Trail maps are available at the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest website http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/wenatchee/recreation/winter/lakewen-entiat-snomo-map.pdf or WA State Parks web site http://www.parks.wa.gov/winter/trails/
SKIING and SNOWSHOEING OPPORTUNITIES & INFORMATION:
- Lake Wenatchee State Park offers cross-country and skate skiing trails, snowshoe routes and a sledding hill. Grooming information is available at www.parks.wa.gov/winter/trails/?TrailType=nonmotorized. Sno-Park permits are required for parking at the Lake Wenatchee State Park and Chiwawa Loop and Kahler Glen Sno-Parks. For more information contact Lake Wenatchee State Park at (509) 763-3101.
- Leavenworth Winter Sports Club (www.skileavenworth.com/) provides Alpine, Nordic, and skate skiing trails, snowboarding, ski jumping, snowshoe routes and a tubing park.
- Stevens Pass Nordic Center (www.stevenspass.com) has groomed cross-country and skate skiing trails and snowshoe routes.
- Downhill skiing and snowboarding are available at Mission Ridge (www.missionridge.com) and Stevens Pass (www.stevenspass.com).
- Guided Snowshoe Walks at Stevens Pass occur every Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. from Jan. 8 through March 27. These guided snowshoe walks provide an opportunity for people to get outdoors and learn about winter ecology on the National Forest. No experience is necessary and the Forest Service provides snowshoes. Participants should wear layered and insulated clothing, hats, gloves, and sturdy waterproof boots for the snowshoes. To offset the costs of the program, a donation of $10 per person is suggested for all tours. Call Skykomish Ranger District at (360) 677-2239 for more information. Introductory ages are six and up. Group size is limited to 20 individuals.
- Winter Life Snowshoe Tours occur every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to noon from January through March (dependent upon the snow condition) at the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery. Join a trained naturalist on a guided tour through a trail full of winter wildlife. We provide the snowshoes, all you have to do is call ahead to make a reservation. To ensure a more personal experience, groups are limited to a total of 12 individuals. Tours begin at the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery main building and are strictly limited to those with reservations only. Call (509) 548-2921 to make a reservation.
CAMPGROUNDS: No fees are charged at any district campgrounds during the winter months. Campers need to remember to bring drinking water, toilet paper and pack out garbage.
GROUP CAMPSITES: To reserve one of the large group sites at Eightmile, Bridge Creek, Tumwater and Grouse Creek Campgrounds, please call the National Reservation line at 1-877-444-6777 or via the Internet at www.recreation.gov . Reservations may be made up to one year in advance.
ENCHANTMENT PERMITS: Overnight Wilderness permits are required from June 15 to October 15 for the Enchantment Area of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. New Enchantment Area application submission dates are now in effect. Applications for summer 2011 may be submitted from February 28 through March 20.
Big changes are coming! To help streamline the permit application process and provide for a more timely response to applicants, we are working with the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS) to put the Enchantment Permit Area reservation system on the internet. For 2011, applying for a permit reservation will require going to www.recreation.gov and clicking on the "Permits" tab near the center top of the home page screen, then applying through a series of simple menus.
The www.recreation.gov website will accept applications from February 28 through March 20. After March 20, a lottery will be run of all applications accepted up until that point, and applicants will receive notification whether or not they are successful. The website will also provide a way to issue permits later in the year as cancellations occur. Those trying for an Enchantment Area permit for the summer of 2011 will need to apply through the website, or through a call center which will be provided by NRRS. The new system is not yet operational on the website, but in the meantime, if you are planning to apply for a permit in the coming year you can go to www.recreation.gov and set up a profile. You can also check out the current permits section of the website where the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and several river permit systems are located, and get a feel for what the coming system will look like. The old permit application forms will no longer be used and forms mailed to the Wenatchee River Ranger Station will not be accepted. Day of entry permits will still be done at the ranger station, but all advanced reservations will now be done through the new web-based system. We will post updates as soon as details are worked out, so continue to check this web site http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/wenatchee/passes/enchantments/ for further information.
ENTIAT RANGER DISTRICT
The office phone number is (509) 784-1511.
OFFICE HOURS: Office hours are 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
SNOW: There is 33 inches of snow at Pope Ridge.
SNOW GROOMING: For snowmobile trail grooming reports for the Entiat Valley/Lake Wenatchee snowmobile trail system, call (509) 763-3103 and press 5. There has been no new snow over the past two weeks.
CAMPGROUNDS: All district campgrounds are closed and no services are available until next spring. No drinking water or garbage service is available. Campers and day users are welcome to use these campgrounds, but should bring drinking water and toilet paper and pack out all trash. The gates are locked at Fox Creek, Lake Creek and Silver Falls campgrounds. If you wish to use these campgrounds you will need to hike in beyond the gates.
ROADS: The Entiat River Sno-Park is in place (approximately 25 miles up the Entiat River Road); the road is closed to wheeled vehicles beyond that point. Mud Creek Road No. 5300 is closed at the junction with Road No. 5320. Shady Pass Road No. 5900 is groomed and accessible to snowmobiles. The Mad River Sno-Park is in place; the road is closed to wheeled vehicles beyond that point.
TRAILS: Most district trails are now inaccessible due to snow accumulations.
SNOWMOBILING AND WINTER SAFETY: Winter is here and snowmobile grooming is occurring on the district. When recreating in the winter plan accordingly:
1. Check the weather and avalanche forecasts
2. Let someone know where you are going
3. Dress appropriately in layers of synthetic clothing
4. Learn how to identify avalanche hazards
5. Carry, and know how to use, avalanche beacons, shovel and a probe
6. Snowmobilers, please watch your speed, watch for oncoming traffic and other winter recreation users on groomed trails, stay to the right at all times.
CHELAN RANGER DISTRICT
The new office phone number is (509) 682-4900.
OFFICE HOURS: 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Chelan Ranger District also serves as an information center for the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area.
SNOW: There is 107 inches of snow at Lyman Lake.
CAMPING: All up lake campgrounds are open. Please remember that some docks may become inaccessible as the lake level lowers. All other campgrounds are open with no fees but please remember to bring your own drinking water and pack out all garbage as no garbage services are available.
LAKE LEVEL: As of January 27, 2011 Lake Chelan Lake level was 1088 Feet. For more information on the lake level, please visit the Chelan County Public Utility District website at http://www.chelanpud.org/lake-chelan-lake-levels.cfm .
ROADS / SNOWMOBILING: The following roads are now closed to four-wheel drive vehicles and open to snowmobiles.
SNO-PARK PERMITS: Sno-Park permits are available at the Chelan Ranger District office. Season Passes are $41.00 and Day Passes are $21.00. Permits can also be found online at the Washington State Park Site www.parks.wa.gov/winter .
- Grade Creek Road (FS Road No. 8200) and Upper Joe Creek Road ( FS Road No. 8210) are closed beyond Antilon Lake Sno-Park
- Washington Creek Road (FS Road No. 8021) Cooper Mountain Road (FS Road No. 8020), and Bergman Gulch are closed above Echo Valley Sno-Park.
- Slide Ridge Road (FS Road No. 8410) and Shady Pass Road (FS Road No. 5900) are closed near the 25 Mile Creek Sno-Park.
- The Upper portion of Purtteman Gulch Road (FS Road No. 8010) used for the Echo Ridge trail system is closed to vehicles.
ECHO RIDGE NORDIC SKI TRAILS: OPEN with lots of groomed trails!! Trail conditions have remained good throughout January and conditions should remain good. Echo Ridge cross-country ski season passes are on sale at the Chelan Ranger District office. Passes are $70.00 per person; those 17 years old and younger are free. Day passes are available at the trailhead which are $10.00 per person and 17 years and younger are free. For current trail conditions please contact the district office or visit the Nordic website at http://www.lakechelannordic.org .
ECHO-ATHON: On February 5, the Lake Chelan Nordic Club is holding a 26.2 mile cross country ski trek. This unique course covers all the Echo Ridge Nordic trails providing not only fantastic ridge top views of Lake Chelan but sections of trail available for classic or skate skiers. The event begins at 8 a.m. at the Upper Trailhead of Echo Ridge. For Echo Ridge Season Pass holders the event is free, all other participants will be asked to pay the standard $10.00 Echo Ridge fee. Come see what Echo Ridge has to offer!!
LAKE CHELAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TRAX EVENT--February 18-20. The Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce is hosting a weekend in the snow with five activities occurring at Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area! Enjoy a guided moonlight ski or Snow-GA, a snowshoe and yoga event. Additional activities include a variety of Nordic events, downhill skiing at Echo Valley, snowmobile bucket run and snowshoeing. The weekend is packed with events for the entire family. Check out the website for event schedules, and locations. http://www.lakechelantrax.com/ .