New hiking permits for Oregon’s central Cascades are delayed until 2021

Those hoping to set off into Oregon’s central Cascade Mountains this summer won’t need to scramble for a hiking permit after all – once trailheads closed due to the coronavirus reopen to the public.

New hiking permits set to roll out this month in Oregon’s central Cascades will be delayed until 2021, the U.S. Forest Service announced, due to the ongoing pandemic.

“Given many logistical constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are delaying our implementation until next year,” Holly Jewkes, supervisor for the Deschutes National Forest, said in a news release.

Originally scheduled to begin May 22, 2020 the new permitting system is now expected to take effect around the same time next year.

The permits are aimed at reducing the number of hikers allowed into the Mount Jefferson, Three Sisters and Mount Washington wilderness areas, as a response to overcrowding and human impact on what are supposed to be pristine natural spaces.

Otherwise, wilderness areas in the central Cascades will continue to be managed as they have been in the past, with no limits on entries and free, self-service wilderness permits at the trailheads.

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