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Wed, Dec. 11

Winter backcountry permits no longer required to access Kachina Peaks Wilderness

Visitors are no longer required to obtain a Winter Backcountry Kachina Peaks Wilderness Permit to enter the Kachina Peaks Wilderness area near Arizona Snowbowl Resort during winter months. (Photo/Coconino National Forest)

Visitors are no longer required to obtain a Winter Backcountry Kachina Peaks Wilderness Permit to enter the Kachina Peaks Wilderness area near Arizona Snowbowl Resort during winter months. (Photo/Coconino National Forest)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Visitors are no longer required to obtain a Winter Backcountry Kachina Peaks Wilderness Permit to enter the Kachina Peaks Wilderness area near Arizona Snowbowl Resort during winter months.

Instead of issuing permits, Forest Service personnel will focus on winter backcountry travel education and outreach using digital media, on-the-ground contacts, and through partners such as the Kachina Peaks Avalanche Center and volunteers.

Although backcountry permits are no longer required, individuals leaving the ski area during winter months are encouraged to get the necessary education, visit the Kachina Peaks Avalanche Center website, and inform someone of their travel plans.

The permit, along with a safety brochure, originated in 1997 as a step to educate visitors on avalanche and winter travel safety following the only avalanche fatality in Arizona, which occurred in 1995. With the advent of the Internet and information readily available online via the avalanche center website, as well as the Coconino National Forest Outdoor Safety web page, visitors have access to all the information necessary to make safe decisions.

The Forest Service will utilize staff and volunteers to contact visitors at ski area portals into the wilderness during expected high-use times. The objective of these contacts will be to ensure visitors know the hazards, know how to prepare themselves, and ensure they have developed a travel plan known to others in case of emergencies.

Information provided by Coconino National Forest

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