Wilderness is for all

Wilderness can be found the arid deserts, cypress swamps, alpine meadows, sandy beaches, and rocky crags. From Alaska to Florida, wilderness protects some of the most diverse and sensitive habitats in our country. It offers refuge for wildlife and a place to seek connection, inspiration, sustenance, adventure, and more for each of us. What does wilderness mean to you?  

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The Wilderness Act of 1964 established the National Wilderness Preservation System, a national network of more than 800 federally-designated wilderness areas. These wilderness areas are managed by the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and US Forest Service.

Photo collage including people viewing petroglyphs, hands holding foraged berries, and a painter.
What does wilderness mean to you?

Explore different NPS wilderness areas and learn about some of the ways people connect to these special places.

Kids kayak through a swamp in wilderness.

Are you in the mood for adventure? Solitude? Quality time with loved ones? Discover all of the recreational options wilderness has to offer!

Visitor enjoys solittude and time for reflection in the Petrifed Forest Wilderness.
What is Wilderness Character?

Wilderness character is a combination of tangible and intangible qualities specific to a wilderness area. Learn more here!

A camp in wilderness follows Leave No Trace practices.
Wilderness Ethics

Practicing good wilderness ethics while exploring is important. The seven Leave No Trace principles are a good starting point.

Painting of a sandstone arch in the recommended wilderness. Painted by Claire Giordano.
Why is federal wilderness important?

Wilderness both amplifies benefits of national parks and offers distinct cultural and ecological benefits rooted in wilderness character.

Last updated: September 29, 2023