The U.S. Forest Service will release online permits on March 1 at www.recreation.gov for hikers headed to Dog Mountain on weekends from April 18 to June 14 this year.
The permits are required as part of a partnership that began in 2018 to ensure public safety near Dog Mountain Trailhead, where congestion during the spring wildflower hiker rush created annual congestion and at least one fatal accident before permits were required.
Every hiker on the Dog Mountain Trail system on Saturdays and Sundays between April 18 to June 14 will be required to carry a permit (or digital proof). There are two ways for hikers to obtain permits:
- Ride the shuttle from Stevenson. A permit is included automatically with the cost of the Skamania County Shuttle bus from Stevenson. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis, for $1 per person per trip, or $2 roundtrip (cash, exact change only). Each permit is good for one individual on the day it is issued. The shuttle runs about every half hour from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekends from April 18 to June 14.
- Map to the park and ride for the shuttle:
2. Reserve a permit online. Anyone parking at Dog Mountain Trailhead will need to reserve one permit for each person online at www.recreation.gov and pay the $1.00 non-refundable administrative fee (per person) in addition to paying the recreation site fee of $5 per car. Valid Northwest Forest or interagency federal passes are accepted (but not state parks passes) as a form of paying the recreation fee but are not a substitute for having the per person permit.
This year, 100 permits will be released on March 1 for each day through the permit season. An additional block of 100 permits will be released online three days before each permit date at 7:00 a.m. Pacific Time. As the season progresses, there may be adjustments made to the number of late-breaking permits to match parking patterns.
The permit system is designed to limit congestion, but a permit does not guarantee a parking spot will be available at the time a hiker arrives, so visitors are encouraged to carpool.
The Dog Mountain permit system was made possible by a U.S. Forest Service partnership with Washington State Department of Transportation, Skamania County, and the Skamania County Chamber of Commerce.
More details about the permit system and related shuttle are available at: fs.usda.gov/goto/crgnsa/hikedogmountain