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Trinity Alps Wilderness

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Area Management

The Trinity Alps 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 Trinity Alps 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-Specific Regulations

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.


36CFR261.18 General Prohibitions in a National Forest Wilderness:

1) Possessing or using a motor vehicle, motorboat or motorized equipment except as authorized by Federal law or regulation.

2) Posessing or using a hang glider or bicycle.

3) Landing of aircraft, or dropping or picking up of any material, supplies, or person by means of aircraft, including a helicopter.

36 CFR 261.58f Order 97-1 prohibits using a campsite or trail by a group of more than ten (10) people. Exemptions are granted on a case- by- case basis, upon request. We use MIST guidelines to determine eligibility for exemption. Contact the Weaverville RD (530 623-2121) to facilitate this exemption.

36 CFR 261.55 Order 88-4 prohibits using or possessing a bicycle except by special-use authorization on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. The northern part of the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area contains 19 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Please note: bicycles are also prohibited from use or possession anywhere within the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area.

36 CFR 261.57 Order 88-3 prohibits possessing or using a wagon, cart, or other vehicle except by special-use authorization.

36 CFR 261.52(a) Order 14-10-2 prohibits building, maintaining, attending or using any fire, campfire, or stove fire within the upper end of the Canyon Creek and Stuarts' Fork Watersheds and the upper Alpine Lake Watershed. effective 3/8/2010 to the present.

36 CFR 261.58(t) Order 14-2 prohibits possessing, storing or transporting any part of a tree or plant in violation of Federal or State law or Title 36CFR.

36 CFR 261.58(s) Order 14-2 prohibits possessing, storing or transporting any bird, fish or other animal or parts thereof in violation of Federal or State law or Title 36CFR.


36 CFR 261.57a Order 92-1 prohibits being in the Trinity Alps Wilderness without a valid Wilderness Permit.

36 CFR 261.58(a) Order 97-1 prohibits camping for more than fourteen (14) days per calendar year

Learn more about why regulations may be necessary in wilderness.

Wilderness Permit System

A wilderness permit system has been implemented for this wilderness. This involves a mandatory permit, which does not limit use. Wilderness permit systems are implemented to collect information on use levels and patterns and as an education and information tool. People interested in visiting the Trinity Alps Wilderness should contact the Forest Service office or visit the websites listed for more information about this permit system, which may vary by location or time of the year.

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