Washington State Parks announce new action to minimize overcrowding

Visitors should be prepared to go somewhere else if parks are full in Chelan, Lake Wenatchee

OLYMPIA – Today, July 24, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission announced it will begin limiting the number of visitors at two state parks in Chelan county.

To avoid overcrowding, Lake Chelan and Lake Wenatchee state parks staff will close day-use areas to additional visitors when parking lots become full. This measure starts today.

Signs will be posted at park entrances when they reach capacity. Park staff will also monitor entrances to educate visitors who attempt to access the park on foot.

“We want to provide the public with enjoyable outdoor recreation opportunities this summer,” said region manager Ryan Layton. “But we need to do it safely by following state public health guidelines.”

Both parks have been experiencing high visitation numbers this summer, making it hard for visitors and staff to maintain social distance. This is particularly true for swimming areas.

State Parks is asking visitors to follow the Guidelines for Responsible Recreation when planning a trip to any state park, especially more popular destinations such as Lake Chelan and Lake Wenatchee.

The public should avoid parking on county roads to access the park on foot.

Visitors should check what’s open before heading out, avoid crowds and be prepared to go somewhere else if the park is at capacity.

State parks reopened day-use areas in early May after a five-week closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Camping began reopening June 1. To date, not all state parks have reopened.

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