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Anaconda Pintler Wilderness

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Area Management

The Anaconda Pintler Wilderness is part of the 110 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 Anaconda Pintler 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 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 for more specific information about the regulations listed.


Party leads and/or individuals must register. Groups may not exceed 12 people and 12 head of stock.

Campfires are NOT allowed within 1/4 mile of the following lakes: Oreamnos, Sawed Cabin, Upper Phyllis, Upper Carpp, Surprise, Bear, Buck, Emerald, Lost Lakes, Lower Phylis, Park Lakes, Sauer, Continental, the unnamed lake below Queener Mtn., the unnamed lake west of Warren Lake. Camping is prohibited between Trails #96 and #111 and Johnson Lake.

Maximum length of campsite occupancy is 16 consecutive days in one place. A person or group cannot relocate within a five-mile radius of the original site for the next 14 days. Camping equipment must be removed by the end of the 16 day limit or the equipment may be impounded.

Possessing or using a bicycle, motor vehicle, wagon, cart (including game carts), aircraft or other motorized equipment is prohibited.


-- Camping is prohibited between Trails #96 and #111 and Johnson Lake.

-- Overnight visitors cannot occupy a single location for a period longer than 16 consecutive days. A person or group cannot relocate within a five-mile radius of the original site for the next 14 days. Camping equipment must be removed by the end of the 16 day limit or the equipment may be impounded.


-- Using more than 12 head of pack or saddle stock in any group is prohibited.

-- All pack or saddle stock feed must be certified weed seed free. Weed seed free products must be certified as being noxious weed seed free by an authorized State of Department of Agriculture official or designated county official; each individual bale or container must be tagged or marked as weed free and reference the written certification.

-- Grazing and tethering of stock within 200 feet of any lake is prohibited.

-- Camping with stock is prohibited within 1/4 mile of: Sawed Cabin, Oreamnos, and Ripple Lakes.

-- Stock is prohibited within 200 feet of Big Johnson Lake except on designated trails.

-- Hope Lake Trail #424 is closed to pack and saddle stock.

-- Use of pack and saddle stock on the Pintler District is prohibited from April 1 to July 1.

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 Anaconda Pintler Wilderness should contact the Forest Service office for more information about this permit system, which may vary by location or time of the year.

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