Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers


White Salmon River

Goat Rocks Wilderness


Wild and Scenic Rivers:

The abundant rain and snowfall in the western Cascades feed an extensive river system on this Forest. Many rivers are popular for recreation and contain remarkable features. Ensuring these features and the free-flowing character of popular rivers are maintained into the future, the Forest has recommended four rivers be added to the national Wild and Scenic Rivers System. They are: the Cispus River, the Lewis River, and the Clear Fork and Muddy Fork of the Cowlitz River. Thirteen additional rivers are being studied as potential Wild and Scenic Rivers. The only river currently designated as a Wild and Scenic River is the White Salmon River.

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Wilderness is the land
that is
rare, wild places where one can retreat from civilization,
reconnect with the Earth,
and find healing, meaning and significance.

There are seven designated wilderness areas on the Forest. These areas are patrolled and managed by our Forest Rangers and Recreation managers. Rangers report on trail conditions, greet people on the trail and answer questions. Rangers are stationed on Mt Adams during the busy climbing season to provide guidance and to enforce wilderness and climbing regulations. These skilled Rangers also provide emergency help and communications at the base of the mountain up to lunch counter. Recreation managers and crews work to clear trail and remove safety hazards on the trails throughout the forest and in wilderness areas.

Travel into wilderness areas at your own risk.

An American Legacy

Wilderness is an indispensable part of the American story. Native Americans depended on the bounty of wilderness for survival and held Earth and its wild places as sacred. The great western explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were inspired by the untamed beauty of wilderness that became the forge upon which our uniquely American national character was created. But after just 200 years, the essential wildness of America virtually disappeared. As Americans realized that the long-term health and welfare of the nation were at risk, a vision for conservation emerged. More..

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