It all started with an email asking if they were open during the pandemic, and if so, how does one visit for the first time. There was a little dialogue, the person on the other end of the email said my name “didn’t ring a bell” and wanted to make sure I knew what I was getting myself into. 

A couple days in advance
Per the clear instructions in the email from Bronson, I needed to call at least a day in advance and be added to a list. They’re keeping new visitor numbers down, but they didn’t say what that meant – as in, I’m not sure what their maximum versus reduced capacity of first timers is due to Covid-19. After you’re on the list, they request that you give them an approximate arrival time within their volunteer-staffed visitor center hours. Their hours typically run into the evening, and they appeared to be flexible as long as they had people available to help in their welcome center. The operation is all volunteer run.
Day of first visit 
When you arrive in Sultan, WA, stop and call the park. There’s no cell phone service at the park for most carriers, so calling in Sultan is very important. This gives the person at the welcome center about 15 minutes to get ready for your arrival – when they’re not checking people in they’re fixing something, sun bathing, giving a tour or doing some other duty. They’ll also give you a gate code. The visitor gate code changes weekly or more frequently if needed. When I arrived in Sultan, I stopped at a convenience store to pick up some snacks for my visit. As soon as I was done, I called the park. They confirmed my arrival, gave me the gate code and confirmed directions since there isn’t cell service. That also means that if you stop your map directions, typically you can’t start them again because of the lack of cell service.
It took me almost exactly 15 minutes from Sultan to the park. The gate was clearly marked and the code worked fine. They have a sign asking people to pull in and wait for the gate to close behind them for security.
Then I proceeded to drive down what seemed to be about a .3 mile gravel road through a wooded area. Signs clearly indicated where to go when I saw other side roads off the main road. I passed a dump station on the way in, but it wasn’t tacky – it was appropriately placed for RV’s exiting the park.
Check in/store/welcome center is clearly marked. The store and welcome center is in single, two story building. I arrived, dawned my mask and entered the building. The person checking me in was nude and not wearing a mask and there didn’t appear to be any sanitizing products out. 
Paperwork was all paper and pen. I brought my own pen. I completed the visitor form and they ran a sex offender check which came back clear and proceeded to finalize check in.
I was informed that they typically don’t allow only one person from a married couple to attend alone. I’d need to bring my spouse or bring a notarized document giving me permission to be at the park next time. They said they were making an exception for me because Mandy was on my AANR membership, and that my friend who arrived ahead of me  mentioned he knew us both. So, next time Mandy will need to go with me or I’ll need to take the notarized permission slip.
After check in, I was given a tour. Now that I’m an approved visitor, I can return and use the self check in box and drop a $20 bill or check with my sign in sheet. There’s a box with a writing surface on the outside of the welcome center.
Visitors get a rear view mirror card hanger which indicates the vehicle was checked in and they list how long you’ll be there. Much like a state park or other event.
I received an 8.5 x 11 photo copied map of the main part of the park. It’s simple and fairly clear, but also needs a couple updates. But overall very easy to understand.
Everything was open and available for use. Lodge, decks, sauna, restrooms, hot tub area, beach access at the lake to name a few. 
We play things pretty safe during this Covid-19 pandemic. I practiced social distancing and intermittently wore a mask. Those who chose different behavior did not give me a hard time about doing it myself. The areas felt large enough to be spread apart, and there’s plenty of outdoor activities. 


So my overall review? There were a few challenges with “getting in” such as the phone calls, verbal directions because some mapping software is wrong. But it is out of the city a ways, so you get this really remote feeling. I wasn’t expecting to be without cell service. There’s the whole notarized permission slip though. But for $20 I could be nude, hike to a waterfall, swim in a lake, sit by a campfire and do all this feeling secluded and safe.


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