The upcoming Memorial Day weekend is the big kick off for camping and hiking in the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest. 

Most of the campgrounds are now open while a few are still going through the cleanup process from winter. 

Camping - Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest
Camping - Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest

Forest service spokesperson Robin DeMario says the campgrounds will fill up quickly. 

"Some will fill up late Thursday evening, and others on Friday" said DeMario. "So, the sooner you can get to your camp site and set up and enjoy it, the better your chances are of finding a camping spot." 

There are numerous campgrounds along and near Icicle Road south of Leavenworth that are easily accessible. Two campgrounds in the Lake Wenatchee area off State Route 207 are also easy to get to. 

Trail crews in the forest are also working on trails to get them cleared of winter debris.  

Demario says some spots won't have their normal amenities. 

"I know, for example, up on the Methow Valley Ranger District, most of their campgrounds will be open, but they will not have water service," DeMario said. "So, that's something people need to be prepared for." 

Camping - OKanogan Wenatchee National Forest
Camping - OKanogan Wenatchee National Forest

The forest service is advising anyone planning to camp in the forest on Memorial Day weekend to expect crowds. 

Campers are advised to call ahead to a ranger district or check the forest website to make sure a campground is open. 


Now is the time when seasonal crews are back at work. They’re getting campgrounds ready for use and doing trail and road maintenance work which will continue throughout the summer. 

Trail crews are working on trails getting them cleared of winter debris. Not all trails in the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest have been maintained, mostly the lower elevation trails.  

The forest service is asking people to let them know if there are any trees down across trails, washouts, or boulders so trail crews can have the right equipment on hand to take care of these issues. 

Among the attractions on trails right now are wildflowers. It's suggested that hikers bring along a wildflower identification book or appropriate app on their cell phone.  

When viewing wildflowers: 

  • Please stay on the trail. People walking across meadows and hillsides to get photos can damage delicate plants. 
  • Ticks are out so dress accordingly and check yourself, children, and pets for these critters. 
  • Please don’t pick the flowers, leave them there for others to see. Leaving them will ensure a seed source for future wildflowers that we all can enjoy. 

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