Wilderness Regulations

Nation-wide Wilderness Regulations:

Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is prohibited. This includes the possession and use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, drones, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are considered to be "mechanized” equipment and cannot take off or land in designated Wilderness on National Forest System lands. The FAA provides guidance on “Flights Over Charted U.S. Wildlife Refuges, Parks, and Forest Service Areas”. Per this guidance, federal laws prohibit certain types of flight activity and/or provide altitude restrictions over “designated Forest Service Areas.”

Olympic National Forest Wilderness Regulations:

The following are prohibited:

  • Groups consisting of more than 12 persons and/or 8 head of livestock.
  • Starting and/or maintaining open fires, such as camp, cooking and warming fires above 3,500 feet elevation.
  • Gathering wood for starting and/or maintaining open fires or stoves above 3,500 feet elevation.
  • Tethering of livestock to trees and/or other vegetation, except for incidental use not to exceed 30 minutes.
  • Possessing and/or transporting unprocessed vegetative matter such as hay, straw, grass or grain. The use of pelletized or certified weed-free feed is required in all National Forests in the Pacific Northwest. This helps prevent the introduction and spread of invasive plants.
  • Caching or leaving equipment, personal property or supplies unattended for a period in excess of 24 hours.

Violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than 6 months. (Orders Number 900-017, 018 & 024, pursuant to 36 CFR, sections 261.50 (a) and (b).)

Olympic National Forest Rules and Regulations

  • View Olympic National Forest Rules and Regulations regarding target shooting, motor vehicle use, developed recreation, hunting and fishing, and National Park vs National Forest regulations.