Wilderness Areas

Other Intermountain Region Wilderness Videos

The 1964 Congress enacted the Wilderness Act, which established the National Wilderness Preservation System... to secure for the American people of preset and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness

Map that shows the wilderness areas in the magenta color.

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

The Intermountain Region is home to 38 designated Wilderness Areas covering approximately 5.5 million acres. In these special areas you can enjoy primitive recreation and solitude in some of the Nation's most impressive terrain.

Wilderness contributes to the ecologic, economic, and social health and well being of our citizens, our country, and our world. The benefits wilderness areas provide are as diverse as the areas themselves and are highly valued, in addition to providing "outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation."

Wilderness Areas are closed to all types of motor vehicles, mechanical transport, hang gliders, and bicycles. In areas that lie within culinary watersheds for city and counties, special restriction concerning camping, swimming, and domestic animals may apply.

Activities specifically prohibited in the Wilderness Act are: commercial enterprises; roads and structures; the landing of aircraft; the use of motorized equipment; and motor or mechanical transport. Before visiting a Wilderness Area, check with the appropriate Forest Service office for regulations.

Wilderness is a precious and fragile resource. A few simple rules of self-conduct will permit you to enjoy an exceptional wilderness experience. Enduring the quality of wilderness depends on you. Help protect the wilderness by following the wilderness regulations and incorporating wilderness ethics into your backcountry activities.

In the wilderness, you will have the opportunity to experience challenge, self-reliance, and the reward of discovery; but you are also responsible for your own safety. In an area that is unfamiliar or new, there are few posted signs, so you must know how to read a map and use a compass. You may need to be your own doctor and must be prepared for accidents and dramatic changes in weather.

Please follow all visitor rules and practice good safety when visiting the National Forests.