The Alpine 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 Alpine 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.
All hay, hay cubes, straw, grain or other crop or mulch product must be certified noxious weed free. This regulation does not apply to persons possessing or storing commercially processed feed (feed pellets or steamed, rolled grains) or to persons possessing state certified weed free hay or crop products packaged as bales, containers, or sacks, when also marked using official tags, twine or other identification as required by the product's State of origin, or in possession of the original and current State documents which certify the hay or crop products meet or exceed the North American Weed Management Association (NAWMA) or comparable certification standard.
Maximum group size is 12, in any a combination of persons and pack and saddle animals.
Caching, leaving, or storing equipment (including geocaches), personal property, or supplies unattended for more than 48 hours is prohibited.
Using or possessing any type of wagon, cart or other wheeled vehicle is prohibited.
Grazing any pack or saddle animals within 200 feet slope distance of the shoreline of any lake is prohibited.
Hitching, tethering, or hobbling any pack or saddle animals within 200 feet slope distance of the shoreline of any lake is prohibited.
Shortcutting a trail switchback.
Do not enter restoration or rehabilitation areas.
ORDER ENTRY AND USE RESTRICTIONS ALPINE LAKES WILDERNESS WENATCHEE AND MT. BAKER-SNOQUALMIE NATIONAL FORESTS Pursuant to Title 36 CFR 261.50 (a), the following acts are prohibited in order to protect the ecological integrity of lakes, streams, forests, meadows, and to enhance the Wilderness character and resources of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, located within the Wenatchee and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forests, until further notice.
1. Entering or being in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness between May 15th and October 31st, without a valid permit, 36 CFR 261.57 (a).
2. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire, except for self-contained, carry-in devices such as stoves, in the areas listed in Exhibit A, 36 CFR 261.52 (a).
3. Camping at other than a designated camp site within 1/2 mile horizontal distance, of the areas listed in Exhibit B, 36 CFR 261.58 (e).
4. Camping within 200 feet, horizontal distance, of the shoreline of the lakes listed in Exhibit C, 36 CFR 261.58 (e).
5. Camping with pack and saddle animals within 1/2 mile, horizontal distance, of the areas listed in Exhibit D, 36 CFR 261.58 (e).
6. Camping with pack and saddle animals at other than a designated pack and saddle animal camp site within 1/2 mile, horizontal distance, of the areas listed in Exhibit E. Camping at these sites is prohibited unless the party includes pack and saddle animals. 36 CFR 261.58 (e).
7. Hitching or tethering any horse, mule, donkey or burro directly to a highline or tree for more than 30 minutes unless the front fee of the animal are constrained or unless the tie point to the highline is more than 8 feet from a tree. Hitching any pack and saddle animal to a tree under 6 inches in diameter. Hitching any pack and saddle animal to a tree for more than 4 hours, 36 CFR 261.58 (aa).
8. Dogs must be leashed on trails listed in Exhibit F, 36 CFR 261.55 (c).
9. Possessing or transporting a dog in the locations listed in Exhibit G. 36 CFR 261.58 (s).
10. Camping or being within an area specifically marked as closed to public entry, 36 CFR 261.57 (a) and 36 CFR 293.3.
ORDER NUMBER 06-05-FO-06-01 Trails Closed to Pack and Saddle Stock This order is deemed necessary to protect trails on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest from damage due to inappropriate types of use, to protect designated Wilderness from resource degradation, to provide for user safety, to protect sensitive areas from vegetation loss or damage and soil erosion, and to reduce conflicts between types of use. In order to meet these objectives, the following acts pursuant to 36 CFR 261.50 (a) and (b), are prohibited within the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest on forest development trails designated below (see attached definitions:)
1. Using a saddle, pack, or draft animal on trails listed in Exhibit 1. 36 CFR 261.55(c).
2. Using a llama or pack goat on trails listed in Exhibit 1. 36 CFR 261.55©. Consult specific trail information at http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mbs/conditions/?cid=STELPRDB5126323
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 use-limiting permit system with quotas and reservations. Wilderness permit systems are implemented to collect information on use levels and patterns and as an education and information tool. Use-limiting systems are implemented after monitoring has determined that current use levels are resulting in unacceptable impacts to the resource and/or to the wilderness recreation experience. These systems help distribute visitor use throughout the season and help minimize crowded conditions at popular areas. People interested in visiting the Alpine Lakes 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.
The following user fee system(s) have been implemented for this wilderness: OVERNIGHT CAMPING. Fees are most often used to offset the operating costs of a permit system or to help fund management activities such as trail maintenance. Contact the Forest Service office
or visit the websites listed
for more specific information on this fee system.