Fall Colors At Peak In Okanogan Wenatchee Forest, As Is Traffic
There's heavy visitor traffic in the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest right now because Fall colors are at their peak.
Forest Service spokesperson Robin DeMario says there are plenty of visually striking views available to people passing through in cars.
"If you're driving over the passes, Blewett Pass, Stevens Pass, driving up into some of the national forest roads, say up the Icicle, the Entiat, up to Lake Wenatchee, you're going to be seeing fall colors," said DeMario.
Drivers are being asked not to park in the middle of the road to take pictures, and never block a road in any way.
Meanwhile, views of fall colors of Larch Pine trees are only available by hiking into the forest.
Doing so typically requires parking at a trailhead and hiking in.
DeMario says major problems occur when people try to park after all the spots are taken at the trailhead.
"In many instances folks will park on both sides of a road entering into an area, greatly diminishing the passability of vehicles down that road" DeMario said. "
Parking on the side of a road creates danger when there's no room for emergency vehicles to get through.
Forest crews have had folks park in such a way that crews can’t access a site to clean and restock toilets
Visitors are being asked to plan ahead and have a couple of options in mind when trailhead parking fills up. They can also call the local ranger station for ideas.
Meanwhile, a storm brought snowfall at elevations above 6,000 feet last Tuesday night
Anyone hiking at those higher elevations is asked to follow the beaten path and stay on the trail because it can be hard to find the trail after a snowfall.
In addition, people taking their dogs are asked to scoop the poop, and always keep pets under control. There are lots of other hikers out there also trying to enjoy fall colors or hiking with their pet.
But otherwise, enjoy the striking colors of fall foliage in the forest.