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Savage Run Wilderness

General Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws

Area Management

The Savage Run 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 Savage Run 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.


Camping is prohibited within one hundred (100) feet of forest service system trails, lakes or streams.

Human waste must be deposited at least one hundred (100) feet from lakes, streams, trails or campsites. Use a shovel or trowel and bury waste at least 6 inches below ground.

Maximum group size allowed is twenty-five (25) heartbeats, with a maximum combined fifteen (15) persons and ten (10) horses/mules/lamas, etc. The maximum number of people allowed in any group is fifteen (15).

Dogs and other pets or animals must be under control at all times to prevent harassment or disturbance to wildlife, people, personal property and livestock.

As with all designated wilderness areas it is illegal to use or possess any mechanical vehicle, wagon, cart, bicycle, etc. Within the wilderness boundary.


Only certified weed-free hay or supplemental feed (such as alfalfa pellets or treated grain) may be possessed, transported or used for feed or bedding within the wilderness boundary. Note: certified hay is required for all Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests System lands.


Camping is limited to 16 consecutive days. After 16 days visitors must move themselves and all camping equipment, gear, and supplies must be moved at least 3 miles in distance from the previous location if they wish to re-establish a campsite on National Forest System lands.

No persons or group may use the same campsite that they have vacated within the 30-day period. Once vacated, regardless if camped at a site less than the 16 day maximum period, a person or associated group, cannot return to the same campsite within a 30-day period from the date of their first night of camping.

It is illegal to store or leave unattended any equipment, personal property, or supplies for more than 24 hours.

It is illegal to construct permanent camping structures. All temporary camp structures (e.g. Tent frames, meat poles, etc.) Camps must be completely dismantled after use and before leaving a campsite.

Learn more about why regulations may be necessary in wilderness.

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