Wilderness Regulations


  • Groups larger than 12 persons and 12 head of stock.
    • Large groups multiply the impact on the resource and can be disruptive to others.
  • Entering or being in Willamette National Forest wildernesses without a permit. One needs a limited entry permit for the Pamelia Lake area (Mt. Jefferson Wilderness) and the Obsidian Area (Three Sisters Wilderness) and a self-issuing permit for all other wilderness areas. For more information about permits, visit our wilderness permits page.
    • Information gathered from permits is vital in determining proper management.
  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a campfire within 100 foot slope distance of any permanent lake, stream, spring, pond or system trail.
    • Campfires and wood gathering damage fragile areas.
  • Hitching, tethering, picketing, or securing any pack or saddle stock within 200 feet slope distance of any permanent lake, stream, spring, pond. or shelter.
    • These areas are sensitive to the effect of repeated grazing and trampling. Once damage occurs, water quality may be affected by resulting erosion.
  • Motorized equipment and mechanized equipment such as bicycles, wagons, carts, or wheelbarrows (except wheelchairs).
    • These uses are incompatible with the legal and ethical definition of wilderness.
  • Discharging a firearm within 150 yards of a campsite or occupied area or across a body of water or in any manner or place whereby any person is exposed to injury.
    • The indiscriminate discharge of firearms iin areas of recreation use is dangerous.
  • Camping or being within areas posted as closed for rehabilitation. These areas have been closed to allow recovery.
    • Use of these sites inhibits restoration efforts.
  • Cutting or damaging any live tree or vegetation except as authorized.
    • Damaging or cutting live trees or shrubs is absolutely opposed to wilderness values and the concept of a natural environment.
  • Storing equipment, personal property or supplies withing the wilderness for more than 48 hours.
    • Storing personal belongings disrupts the natural conditions of the wilderness and others' experience.
  • Gathering a forest product, for example mushrooms and berries, except for personal on site use.
    • Limiting collection of edibles, such as mushrooms and berries, to what you can consume during your visit assures future visitors the same sense of discovery and enjoyment

Special Area Regulations

Some wildernesses have special area regulations due to the heavy use that they receive.

Check with the local Ranger District office for further information and detailed maps.