The Sky Lakes 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 Sky Lakes 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
or visit the websites listed
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
or visit the websites listed
for more specific information about the regulations listed.
-- Group size is limited to no more than 8 people and/or 12 pack or saddle stock per party. Exceptions apply to those on the Mt. Loughlin Trail and groups of no more than 12 persons traveling through Sky Lakes Wilderness as part of a longer trip along the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.
-- Camping and campfires are prohibited within 100 feet (slope distance) of all lakes or ponds and within 50 feet of all streams or springs.
-- Do not camp in designated “horse camp” areas without the possession of pack or saddle stock.
-- Pack out all debris, garbage, or other waste.
-- Caching or storing equipment, personal property, or supplies is prohibited.
-- Possessing or storing hay or unprocessed (viable) grain is prohibited.
-- Grazing of pack or saddle stock is prohibited before August 1 of each year.
-- Grazing of pack or saddle stock is prohibited within the Seven Lakes Basin or Blue Canyon Basin "sensitive areas," as shown on maps posted at trailhead bulletin boards (except in designated grazing areas).
-- Camping with pack or saddle stock is prohibited within the Seven Lakes Basin or Blue Canyon Basin "sensitive areas,” as shown on maps posted on trailhead bulletin boards (except in designated "horse camps").
-- In those areas identified and "sensitive" as shown on the maps posted at the trailhead bulletin boards, watering can take place only at stream crossings of Forest Development Trails or at specially-designated lakeshore watering areas.
-- Do not hitch, tether, or hobble pack or saddle stock within 200 feet (slope distance) of all lakes and ponds or within 50 feet of all streams and springs.
-- Do not hitch or tether pack or saddle stock to any live tree for more than one hour.
Learn more about why regulations may be necessary in wilderness