What public lands are open?

gated road

Some private and public lands may have limited access or facilities; Canadian border closed.

  • Recreational travel to Canada is not permitted as of September 1 due to COVID 19 concerns.

  • National Parks are open as of September 1, though the Lake Cushman area is closed and Shi Shi Beach and Second Beach are closed. Group campgrounds and visitor centers are closed.

  • National Forests are open though, as of September 1, campfires are banned in Wenatchee-Okanogan National Forest due to fire conditions. Group campgrounds are closed and the Middle Fork Campground is closed. Dispersed camping is not permitted between the Icicle Creek Road and the Creek, from Snow Lakes parking lot to Rock Island Campground.

  • State Parks are open, though the trail to the top of Beacon Rock is closed due to COVID concerns and Peshastin Pinnacles is closed for power line work. Banks Lake is busy.

  • As of September 1, DNR and WDFW report that their lands are open, though camping is not permitted in Island County or San Juan County. Some bathrooms are going without service (Little Si, for example) and there may not be porta-potties where they have been placed in the past (Exit 38).   

Dispersed camping on public lands (outside of campgrounds)

Camping on National Forest and BLM lands is generally allowed.

  • Methow Valley climbers ask that, if you choose to climb in or near the Methow Valley, please follow all State and Forest Service guidelines; please follow the WA state travel mandates to day trips only; please bring wag bags or a portable toilet because most regional public bathrooms will remain closed TBD; and please understand the dispersed Camping under Goat Wall is always discouraged.
  • Make your own toilet: our river-rafting friends have been using portable toilets forever. Here's a link to one video on how to make one (hints: number one in the great outdoors world wide urinal - only number two goes into the toilet; a regular toilet seat can replace the pool noodle).
    you tube video
  • Tips: the Washington Trails Association has compiled some tips about dispersed camping:
    Tips from the WTA

Climbing with Covid

THe Recreate Responsible Coalition has created guidelines for outdoor recreation during the COVID 19 pandemic.

We've all been cooped up for too long and holiday weekends and the summer in general call us outside. Please consider the following guidelines, developed by the Access Fund and published in Climbing Magazine on May 18:

  • Know before you go. Check the status of the place you want to visit. If it is closed, don't go. If it's crowded, have a back up plan.
  • Practice physical distancing. Keep your group size small. Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth and give others space. If you are sick, stay home.
  • Plan ahead. Prepare for facilities to be closed, pack lunch, and bring essentials like hand sanitizer and face covering.
  • Plat it safe. Slow down and choose lower-risk activities to reduce your risk of injury. Search and rescue operations and health care resources are both strained.
  • Explore Locally. Limit long-distance travel and make use of local parks, trails, and public spaces. Be mindful of your impact on the communities you visit.
  • Leave no trace. Respect public lands and waters, as well as Native and local communities. Take all your garbage with you.
  • Build an inclusive outdoors. Be an active part of making the outdoors safe and welcoming for all identities and abilities.
  • For more information: https://www.recreateresponsibly.org/
  • The Seattle Times has compiled some useful links, including where to find public restrooms and where you may find restaurants that will serve you without going inside.
    Times' tips
  • American Alpine Club's list of links about sanitizing gear: AACbackyard

If you are new to climbing outdoors, take it easy

With gyms closed, many of us are driven outside. Sterling Rope published the following recommendations for those coming out of the gym.
Tips for a smooth transition from gym to crag

Climbers News tips for bouldering outside for the first time
nine top tips

Top five mistakes: Climbing Magazine