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Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation Wildlife, Range & Vegetation Resources Management Program

Yakama Nation Mt. Adams Recreation Area

Program History

The Yakama Nation Mt. Adams Recreation Area is a unique area of the Yakama Reservation. It is the only area within the Yakama Reservation forested boundary that is open to non-Yakama tribal members. The recreation area has scenic hiking trails and basic campsites available to the public. Day use and overnight permits are issued on site.

Ownership of this area has been in dispute dating back to the Treaty of 1855. An 1890 survey of the Yakama Reservation, accepted by the General Land Office, did not include the Tract-D area. The original treaty map, which included the Tract-D area, was found in 1930 after being misplaced for decades. In the meantime 98,000 acres of the Glenwood Valley had passed into private ownership. Another 21,000 acres were part of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest administered by the Department of Agriculture. After more than 100 years of dispute, in 1972 President Nixon by Executive Order 11670 authorized the return of the 21,000 acre portion of Mt. Adams, including the Summit, to the Yakama Nation.

The Yakama Nation will continue to keep this area open to the general public, subject to Tribal rules and regulations. Tribal Resolution T-13-71 states:

"Whereas, the Tribe recognizes the public interest in continued use of this area ... the Tribe will maintain existing recreational facilities for public use; will continue to recognize the dedication of that portion included in the Mt. Adams wilderness uses ..."

The normal season for the general public will extend from early July to late September, depending on weather conditions. Opening Day for 2011 is July 29th. Click on link below to see a map of the Mt. Adams Recreation Area.

To download high resolution map (2.1 mb), click here pdf version


General Rules

The Yakama Nation is a sovereign Nation with inherent authority to regulate and enforce Tribal laws and ordinances. By entering this area, visitors to the Yakama Nation Mt. Adams Recreation Area agree to these rules. Violators may have their permits revoked and may be prosecuted under the rules and regulations of the Yakama Nation. Visitors are expected to conduct themselves in a manner so as not to disturb other guests, cause damage to the natural resources, cause damage to other private property, and obey the rules listed below. The Yakama Nation Recreation Area is open to the public generally from early July to late September, depending upon weather conditions. All vehicles must have a self-issued entry permit. Instructions for the Entry Permit are located on the envelope provided.

Camping Rules

• Camping Permits are required. Permits are provided at each campsite location.

• Camping is permitted in designated areas only.

• Bench Lake – 41 campsites

• Bird Lake – 21 campsites

• Mirror Lake – 6 campsites

• Sunrise Camp – 15 campsites

• No reservations are accepted for campsites – first come first serve.

• No more than 6 campers per site.

• Do not leave campsite unattended for more than 24 hours.

• Campfires in designated fire pits only - do not leave fires unattended.

• Firewood is provided at Bird Lake / Mirror Lake Administrative Area, free of charge.

• No draining or dumping of refuse or waste from trailers or other vehicles.

• Leave campsite clean and remove Permit Receipt from campsite numbered post.

Fishing Rules

• Fishing Permits are required. Permits are provided at Bird, Bench and Mirror lakes.

• Keep no more than 2 fish per day for each permitted fisherman.

• Children 10 years and younger fish for free.

• Children 10 years and younger may keep no more than 2 fish.

• Fish guts need to be disposed of in the garbage cans, not in the lakes.

• Electric powered boats only. No motor are allowed in lakes.

Other General Rules

• Animals must be kept on a leash or penned at all times.

• Horses and other pack animals permitted at Mirror Lake only. Pack animals permitted on Trail 9 (Around the Mountain Trail) only.

• Hike only on designated trails. No mountain bikes are permitted on trails.

• ATV’s & motorcycle use is not permitted.

• No firearms or fireworks of any kind are permitted.

• No picking, collecting and gathering of wild flowers, berries, roots and other natural resources.