Mt. Hood National Forest Wildernesses

Mt Hood in winter

One of our nation's greatest treasures is the National Wilderness Preservation System established by the Wilderness Act of 1964. Wildernesses are designated by Congress to be protected and preserved in their natural condition, without permanent improvements, roads, or habitation. 

Please review wilderness regulations and always use Leave No Trace techniques to help keep these areas wild, clean, and pristine.

Mt. Hood National Forest is about one-third wilderness- 311,448 acres. Over 124,000 acres of this total was designated as wilderness in 2009.  Learn more about visiting the forest's eight wildernesses:

Know Before You Go!

  • Wilderness regulations - Review the special regulations that apply to all Wilderness areas in the Mt. Hood National Forest.
  • Safety information - Driving on forest roads, the 10 Essentials, camping, backpacking and hiking, wildlife, hypothermia, etc.
  • Drones are not allowed in wilderness areas.
  • Wilderness Permits: The Forest Service uses wilderness permits to monitor wilderness use, set trail maintenance priorities, and plan work priorities.
    • Wilderness permits are required for entry into wilderness areas between May 15- October 15.  Climbers must have a wilderness permit year-round.
    • Wilderness permits are free.
    • Permits are self-issued by the visitor and are available at all trailheads leading into these wildernesses, as well as at Forest Service Ranger Stations. 
  • Ice Caves: Please stay out of ice caves in the Mt. Hood Wilderness or elsewhere on the forest. Ice caves are unstable and are not managed or inspected for hazards and many have very limited access and no outside communications. These temporary formations are formed by meltwater channels, making them particularly dangerous during warm weather. 

Finding a Place to Visit

Each year, more and more people visit wilderness for a unique experience. Consider plannning a trip midweek and in the early and late seasons. For assistance in finding alternatives to the most heavily used areas, check with your nearest forest office.

When visiting wilderness, please follow these Seven Principles of Leave No Trace:

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Other Visitors




https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mthood/specialplaces/?cid=fsbdev3_036632