Nature of the Northwest Home Nature of the Northwest Home
Columbia River Gorge
Columbia River Gorge NewsAbout UsFAQSite MapContact Us View Your Cart
RecreationForestsWilderness AreasGeologyLinksStore
Wilderness Areas - northwest pristine wild lands

Wilderness Area Directory


What is Wilderness?

Use this directory to locate Wilderness Areas and find contact information.


Wilderness Areas are natural lands, untrammelled by humans.


Protected Areas


Wilderness is the America that was--wild land beyond the frontier that shaped the growth of our Nation and the character of its people. Our desire to protect the Nation's wilderness resource was formalized in 1964 with the passage of the Wilderness Act. This landmark conservation legislation established the National Wilderness Preservation System. Since then, Congress has designated over 100 million acres of Wilderness. These areas possess outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive types of recreation, and may contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.

Wilderness areas are protected to allow natural ecological processes to operate freely, and managed so that man is a visitor who does not remain.

  Owyhee River - Oregon

Wilderness Areas
In the Pacific Northwest, there are 59 Wilderness Areas managed by the Forest Service and encompassing 4.6 million acres. Many protect the volcanic peaks of the Cascade Range such as Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Three Sisters, Mt. Baker and Glacier Peak. Others surround high country chains of lakes such as Alpine Lakes Wilderness in Central Washington and Mountain Lakes Wilderness in Southern Oregon. Still others, like the Kalmiopsis Wilderness or the Opal Creek Wilderness, protect unique biological ecosystems and old growth forests. In addition to designated Wilderness, the Forest Service also manages more than 1,200 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers in Washington and Oregon!


Visitor Restrictions
Wilderness travelers should be aware that special regulations may apply. Wilderness permits may be required and regulations may limit party size. Use of motorized and mechanized equipment or transportation is prohibited. Be sure to check with local managers on regulations prior to your trip.

© 2000 - Nature of the Northwest | Contact Us
800 NE Oregon St., Suite 965, Portland, OR 97232 | (971) 673 - 2331   
Site Design: Windsor Solutions | Insite Web Publishing