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Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness

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Area Management

The Hemingway-Boulders 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 Hemingway-Boulders 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.


-- Groups size is limited to no more than 20 people. Oversized groups must split up and remain separated by a drainage or a day apart. Smaller groups are recommended when travelling off-trail to protect fragile areas.

-- Use of gas stoves is highly recommended. If you must build a fire, use only use dead and down wood. Fires damage vegetation, sterilize soil and scar the land.

-- Campfires are prohibited within 200 yards of the following lakes: Cirque, Cove, Sapphire, Sheep, Slide, Tin Cup, Gunsight, Four Lakes Basin, Scree, Shallow, Castle, and Chamberlain 9849.

-- Do not shortcut switchbacks.

-- Do not dispose of debris, garbage, or other waste in the Wilderness. Pack it out.

-- Wash away from lakes and streams. Even "biodegradable" soap pollutes.

-- Human waste must be buried in a 6-8 inch hole at least 100 feet from any water source. Toilet paper must be packed out (doubled plastic bags work great for this!).

-- Do not disturb natural features.

-- Respect the quiet that Wilderness offers. Shouting, music, and other loud noises disrupt solitude and disturb wildlife.

-- Motorized and mechanized equipment is prohibited including: Bicycles, motorbikes, chainsaws, carts, drones, and hang gliders.


-- Groups are limited to no more than 25 head of pack or saddle stock.

-- If you must tie pack or saddle stock to live trees limit it to periods of less than one hour.

-- Tethering pack or saddle stock within 100 feet of any lake, stream, or spring is prohibited.

Learn more about why regulations may be necessary in wilderness.

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