Sum Outlook
Wenatchee, WA (May 26, 2023)–

Conditions can change rapidly; confirm information just prior to your intended travel

information and photo released
Following a winter where the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest received higher than average snowfall, melt out of low to mid-level areas on the forest is well underway. Although Memorial Day weekend typically signals the start of the summer recreation season, it is still winter in the mountains with many higher elevation areas remaining snow covered.
Forest visitors should be prepared for early season conditions across the forest as we head into this busy holiday weekend. With snow still melting, very little seasonal log out has occurred on trails.
The elevation where visitors will find significant lingering snowpack varies with distance to the Cascade Crest. In the eastern Pasayten Wilderness area, some slopes are snow-free up to 8,000 feet elevation, while near the crest visitors will find trailheads still under snow.
The North Cascades Scenic Highway is open to through traffic but be aware the landscape is still snow covered. Lower elevation sites, such as Canyon Creek and Cedar Creek trailheads, are snow-free. Hikers should expect all other trails in this area to be snow covered, especially in the Rainy Pass and Blue Lake areas. There is three feet of snow at Harts Pass and the road is impassable due to washouts. The amount of snow in the Sawtooth Wilderness varies and recreationists will encounter snow starting around 5,000 to 6,000 feet elevation.
Across the forest low to mid-elevation recreation sites are melting out. For the Chelan and Entiat Ranger Districts, most high elevation roads and trails are still impassable due to snow; the Entiat River Road is open all the way to Cottonwood Campground.
The Table Mountain area on the Cle Elum Ranger District is still inaccessible due to snow. Across both the Cle Elum and Naches Districts snow is hanging in areas over 4,000 feet elevation.
Valley trails in the Taneum, Swauk, and Teanaway areas of the Cle Elum District are free of snow to 4,000 feet elevation in shady areas and 4,500 to 5,000 feet elevation on open slopes, except near the Cascade Crest.
Most trails in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness remain under patchy to deep snow with continuous deep snow above 3,500 feet elevation. Deception Pass Trailhead and Rachel Lake Trailhead are still inaccessible due to snow. At Snoqualmie Pass there is still snow in the Pacific Crest Trail North parking lot.
Volunteer and Forest Service crews are actively clearing trails that have melted out from the winter snowpack. On the Cle Elum Ranger District, volunteers have been working on the 4-wheel drive trails in the Swauk area and some of the lower single-track trails in the Taneum area.
Across the forest, crews are reporting that many roads are still soft from recent melt out and need a little more time to dry out. The Naches District has received reports of six vehicles, including passenger cars, four-wheel drives, and even a box truck, getting stuck on snow covered and muddy roads, causing damage to road beds. Drivers are cautioned not to follow directions given by their GPS units/apps as many of these do not account for seasonal road closures or snow conditions.
There have also been mudding issues at Fish Creek on the Naches Ranger District. Individuals driving through mud in meadows and other forest areas cause resource damage and may be cited and fined. Please Tread Lightly and care for the land and resources.
The sudden shift from late-winter conditions at high elevations to early summer hot temperatures and recent thunderstorms means that water levels are dangerously high in many streams and rivers. Until water levels decrease later this summer, please remember this saying–Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Also, road conditions can change rapidly, especially during thunderstorms. When traveling forest roads any time of year, it is always a good idea to carry extra emergency supplies in your vehicle.
Most developed campgrounds across the forest will be open Friday, May 26th; however, there are some campgrounds still inaccessible due to snow or not quite ready to open for the season.
Although both Loup Loup Campground and North Summit Horse Camp on the Methow Valley Ranger District are open, neither water system is on yet, so bring your own water, and please Leave no Trace and pack out your trash.
Chelan Ranger District campgrounds are open. They are free first-come, first-serve campsites and services are not available. Bring your own water, and please Leave no Trace and pack out your trash.
All the campgrounds on the Entiat River Road on the Entiat Ranger District are open. Please be aware, no water is available yet at Cottonwood Campground, recreationists will need to get water from Silver Falls Campground.
Ten of the Wenatchee River Ranger District campgrounds are open. All seven campgrounds in the Icicle Creek drainage south of Leavenworth are open. Three additional campgrounds—Nason Creek, Glacier View, and Goose Creek in the Lake Wenatchee area—are also open.
 Cle Elum Ranger District
·       East Kachess Group Site is expected to open in mid-June.
·       Taneum Campground is still closed while crews work on post-winter cleanup.
Methow Valley Ranger District
·       Buck Lake and Nice campgrounds are not open, and there is no estimated opening date as fire damage repair work is ongoing.
·       South Creek Campground and Twisp River Horse Camp are not yet open due to hazard trees.
·       Black Pine Lake Campground is not open; however, the day use area is open.
·       Manastash Campground on the Cle Elum Ranger District is closed while it undergoes hazard tree assessment and removal work.
·       Tieton Pond Campground is currently closed due to flooding.
·       Leech Lake Campground is still under snow.
·       Hell’s Crossing, Pleasant Valley, and Lodgepole Campgrounds are undergoing hazard tree assessment and removal.
Wenatchee River Ranger District
·       Lake Creek Campground is closed due to post fire flood and landslide hazards.
Please note that the above is not a comprehensive list of all campgrounds on the forest. Please contact the local ranger district offices for site status if the location you are interested in is not listed.
This time of year, conditions can change rapidly – so check conditions as close as possible to your actual trip. For updates on campgrounds, roads, trails, and closures contact individual ranger district office or visit the Forest website at