Wilderness Regulations

Questions? Call your nearest Ranger District Office to find out more.

Nationwide Wilderness Regulations

The following are prohibited in wilderness:

  • Possessing or using a motor vehicle, motorboat, or motorized equipment (including snowmobiles).
  • Possessing or using a hang glider or bicycle.
  • Landing of aircraft, or dropping or picking up of any material, supplies, or person by means of aircraft, including a helicopter.
  • Operating a drone in or over a wilderness area.
  • Fireworks are prohibited on all federal lands, including wildernesses.

Mt. Hood National Forest Wilderness Regulations

Wilderness permits:

  • A wilderness permit is required to enter a wilderness in Mt. Hood National Forest from May 15 through October 15. You must have a copy of the completed permit in your possession during your visit to wilderness. Permits are free and self-issued at trailheads and wilderness boundaries. These permits help the Forest Service keep tally of how many visitors come to each wilderness every year.
  • Climbers must have a wilderness permit in their possession year-round when on the south side climbing route of Mt. Hood. Permits are available at the Wy'East Timberline Day Lodge.

The following are prohibited in wilderness:

  • Groups larger than 12 comprised of any combination people and pack or saddle stock.
  • Shortcutting trail switchbacks.
  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a campfire within 100 foot slope distance of any permanent lake, stream, spring, pond or system trail.
  • Hitching, tethering, picketing, or securing any pack or saddle stock within 200 feet slope distance of any permanent lake, stream, spring, pond or shelter.
  • Motorized equipment and mechanized equipment such as bicycles, wagons, carts, or wheelbarrows (except wheelchairs).
  • Entering any area posted as closed for rehabilitation. These areas have been closed to allow recovery.
  • Cutting or damaging any live tree or vegetation except as authorized.
  • Caching or storing equipment, personal property or supplies within Wilderness for more than 48 hours.
  • Gathering a forest product, for example mushrooms and berries, except for personal on-site use.
  • Commercial use of wilderness except by special use permit.
  • Camping within 100 feet of any lake or the Pacific Crest Trail #2000.
  • Camping in dispersed sites for over 14 consecutive days. (After 14 days of camping at a site you must leave and may not return for 30 days and may not exceed 28 days in calendar year.)

Wilderness-Specific Regulations

View comprehensive information and additional area specific regulations by wilderness:

​Weed-free feed required

Weed-free feed is required on all national forest lands in Oregon and Washington.

Firearms on National Forest lands

 Regulations prohibit discharging a firearm:

  • In or within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site or occupied area,
  • Across or on roads or bodies of water, or where people or property are exposed to injury or damage,
  • Into a cave, and
  • Into areas that cause resource damage. Don’t shoot trees, rocks, stumps, or non-game animals.

Violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine or imprisonment (16 U.S.C. 551, 18 U.S.C. 3559 and 3571).