Help Shape a More Sustainable Future for The Alpine Lakes Wilderness

As more people visit the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, we need to protect this special place while ensuring outdoor access for future generations. Learn more about how we’re helping envision a more sustainable future for the Alpine Lakes, and share your experiences to help inform management of the Wilderness.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
July 21, 2023
Help Shape a More Sustainable Future for The Alpine Lakes Wilderness
Thunder Lake, Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Photo by Luke Helgeson.

The stunning natural beauty and rewarding backcountry experiences offered by the Alpine Lakes area of the central Cascades have inspired Mountaineers for generations. Our members hiked and climbed here before it was designated as a Wilderness area, and advocated for its protection as Wilderness in 1976. We even published a book that was instrumental in persuading President Gerald Ford to protect the Alpine Lakes, and we were involved in the successful campaign to expand the Wilderness in 2014.

The Alpine Lakes Wilderness is the ancestral homeland of many Native tribes and remains a beloved area for outdoor recreationists, and a valuable habitat for fish and wildlife. It also faces many challenges, from increased visitation to intensifying climate change. The Mountaineers is involved in a new collaborative effort to protect this special place for future generations, and we need your help.

As you’ve likely experienced, more people are visiting the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Drawn by its iconic landscapes, variety of recreational experiences, and proximity to the booming Puget Sound region, more visitors creates challenges and opportunities in managing use. The U.S. Forest Service, which is the land manager for the area, needs new methods and additional resources for managing the Wilderness. 

We want to hear about your experiences in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and what experiences you want in the future. Share what you love about the Wilderness, what types of experiences are important to you, and what you want to see in the decades to come. Take the survey now! 

Take the Alpine Lakes Visitor Survey

Ensuring Sustainable Recreation in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness

As a community of stewards and advocates for our public lands and waters, The Mountaineers is committed to leveraging the voice of Washington's human-powered recreationists to help meet these challenges by engaging in collaborative efforts that balance conservation and recreation. That’s why our conservation team is heavily involved in the stakeholder-centered Alpine Lakes Collaborative - a project and network aimed to modernize and create a sustainable method for collaboratively managing visitor use in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness that preserves wilderness character, recreational access, and equity.

The collaborative has convened a multi-year public stakeholder engagement process, bringing together land management agencies, conservation and recreation groups, as well members of nearby communities to help guide and inform the Forest Service’s management of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

Over the past year, the Alpine Lakes Collaborative has met consistently to work on issues and solutions for sustainable visitor use management of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, engaging in thoughtful discussions of the current and desired conditions of both the environmental health of the area’s natural resources as well as the visitor experience.

We’re in the early stages of this process, and the collaborative is keeping an open mind about what future tools and strategies might be needed to preserve the wilderness character in the Alpine Lakes by identifying and confronting current challenges and building innovative solutions.


Mountaineers trip in the Alpine Lakes wilderness.

Share Your Feedback

We’re asking all Mountaineers to join us in shaping a better future for the mountains, lakes, and trails of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The Alpine Lakes Collaborative wants to hear from you via their visitor survey, as they work toward developing recommendations for visitor use management in the Wilderness. The survey focuses on your current and desired experience in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Your experiences, insights, and suggestions are vital to the Collaborative’s work.

Thank you for sharing your feedback and helping amplify this public input opportunity with your fellow Mountaineers by September 1, 2023. There will be several additional opportunities for public engagement moving forward, and we’ll update our community as this important process develops. Together, we can help ensure that future generations of recreationists can experience the natural wonders of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

Share Your Feedback