Wilderness Areas

Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, Washington.

Wilderness is an indispensable part of the American story. In 1964, our nation’s leaders acknowledged the immediate and lasting benefits of wild places to the human spirit and the fabric of our nation. In that year, Congress enacted a law that permanently protected some of the most natural and undisturbed places in America. The Wilderness Act established the National Wilderness Preservation System to “…secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness.”

These areas are sources of clean water and air and protect homes for wildlife. One who visits wilderness finds exceptional scenic beauty, natural sounds, and opportunities for challenging recreation, reflection and solitude. Just knowing wilderness is there inspires pride and a sense of responsibility. Explore the more than 750 wilderness areas that exist today.