The Mt. Charleston 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 Mt. Charleston Wilderness to ensure protection of this unique area.
Bureau of Land Management Information
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is 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. Wheelchairs are allowed.
The following wilderness regulations are in effect for Mt. Charleston Wilderness:
• Please limit group sizes to 12 members. • Maximum length of stay: 14 days. • Visitors are encouraged to use camp stoves. Please check with local BLM and USFS districts for up to date information on fire closures and restrictions. • Other than incidental browsing, riding and pack stock animals may be fed only packed-in, certified, weedfree feed. • Collection of natural resources, including wildlife (with the exception of hunting with a valid hunting license or tag), plants, rocks, or fossils in wilderness is prohibited without a valid scientific research and collecting permit. • Collecting from or impacting archaeological sites in any way is prohibited.
Forest Service Information
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.
Camfires of any kind are prohibited inside the Mt. Charleston Wilderness. Campstoves are not restricted within the Wilderness. (From: GMP for the SMNRA, Amend. to the LRMP, Toiyabe National Forest, pg. 40)
Permits are required for publicized and/or orgainized events with 15 or more participants if any portion of the activity takes place within the Wilderness. Special Use Permits are required for outfitter guide services such as hiking, equestrian and climbing activites. Contact the Spring Mountains NRA at 702-515-5400 to obtain the permit. Competitive events are prohibited in the Wilderness. (From: GMP for the SMNRA, Amend. to the LRMP, Toiyabe National Forest, pg. 40)
A maximum of 15 pack or saddle stock are permitted to use the trails in the Wilderness for organized trail rides. Pack and saddle stock are limited to day use on all South Loop Trail and on North Loop Trail from Trail Canyon trail junction to Charleston Peak (see Map at http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/htnf/recreation/hike_backpack/smnra/north_and_south_loop_trail.shtml. (From: GMP for the SMNRA, Amend. to the LRMP, Toiyabe National Forest, pg. 40)
Free wilderness permits are required year-round for any overnight stay in the Mt. Charleston Wilderness. Permits are not required for day hikes. Permits are self-issuing and do not require a reservation. These permits are available at most entry points (e.g., trailheads). Simply fill out the form, leave the "official use copy" in the drop box at the entry point, and keep the "visitor copy" with you at all times while staying overnight in the Wilderness. (From: GMP for the SMNRA, Amend. to the LRMP, Toiyabe National Forest, pg. 39)
Learn more about why regulations may be necessary in wilderness