The Granite Chief Wilderness is part of the 109 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. This System of lands provides clean air, water, and habitat critical for rare and endangered plants and animals. In wilderness, you can enjoy challenging recreational activities like hiking, backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, horse packing, bird watching, stargazing, and extraordinary opportunities for solitude. You play an important role in helping to "secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness"
as called for by the Congress of the United States through the Wilderness Act of 1964
. Please follow the requirements outlined below and use Leave No Trace techniques
when visiting the Granite Chief Wilderness to ensure protection of this unique area.
General Wilderness Prohibitions
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited on all federal lands designated as wilderness. This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters, unless provided for in specific legislation.
In a few areas some exceptions allowing the use of motorized equipment or mechanical transport are described in the special regulations in effect for a specific area. Contact the Forest Service office
for more specific information.
These general prohibitions have been implemented for all national forest wildernesses in order to implement the provisions of the Wilderness Act of 1964. The Wilderness Act requires management of human-caused impacts and protection of the area's wilderness character to insure that it is "unimpaired for the future use and enjoyment as wilderness." Use of the equipment listed as prohibited in wilderness is inconsistent with the provision in the Wilderness Act which mandates opportunities for solitude or primitive recreation and that wilderness is a place that is in contrast with areas where people and their works are dominant.
Wilderness managers often need to take action to limit the impacts caused by visitor activities in order to protect the natural conditions of wilderness as required by the Wilderness Act of 1964. Managers typically implement 'indirect' types of actions such as information and education measures before selecting more restrictive measures. When regulations are necessary, they are implemented with the specific intent of balancing the need to preserve the character of the wilderness while providing for the use and enjoyment of wilderness.
The following wilderness regulations are in effect for this area. Not all regulations are in effect for every wilderness. Contact the Forest Service office
for more specific information about the regulations listed.
-- Group size is limited to no more than 12 people.
-- Dogs are prohibited within the following fawning areas between May 15 through July 15: The Wilderness portion of the French Meadows Game Refuge west of the Pacific Crest Trail, the Big Springs Trail in Section 14, T.15N R.15E or on the land between the Big Springs Trail and the Five Lakes creek in Section 14 T.15E R15E.
-- Campfires and wood burning stoves are prohibited within 600 feet of any lake in the Five Lakes Basin Section 6, T.15N R.16 E or within 250 feet of any structure at Whiskey Creek Section 11, T.15N, R.15E is prohibited.
-- Do not shortcut switchbacks.
-- Pack out all debris, garbage, or other waste.
-- Camping is prohibited within 600 feet of any lake in the Five Lakes Basin Section 6, T.15N R.16 E or within 250 feet of any structure at Whiskey Creek Section 11, T.15N, R.15E.
-- Groups are limited to no more than 12 head of pack or saddle stock or day use and 8 head for overnight use.
-- Possessing pack or saddle stock within 600 feet of any lake in the Five Lakes Basin Section 6, T.15N, R.16E, Little Needle Lake Section 4, T.15N, R.15E or Mildrid Lakes Section 8 T.15N R.15E except for through passage on the Five Lakes Trail is prohibited.
Learn more about why regulations may be necessary in wilderness