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Mount Hood Wilderness

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Area Management

The Mount Hood 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 Mount Hood 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.


Visitors must have a permit and carry it with them from May 15 through October 15, or year-round when on the South-side climbing route on Mt. Hood.

Maximum groups size is 12, in any combination of people and recreational livestock.

No camping or entering closed areas.

Campfires are prohibited:

Within any meadow.

At or within 500 feet of McNeil Point Shelter.

Within 500 feet of Ramona Falls.

Within the tree covered islands of Elk Cove and Elk Meadows.

At or within 1/2 mile of Burnt Lake.

Within the area above the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail from the north junction with Paradise Park Loop Trail #757 to the south junction of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail and Paradise Park Loop Trail #757.

Within 500 yards below the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail from the north junction with Paradise Park Loop Trail #757 to the south junction of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail and Paradise Park Loop Trail #757. Stoves are allowed.


Camping is prohibited in the following locations: Within any meadow, within the tree covered islands of Elk Cove and Elk Meadows, within 500 feet of Ramona Falls.

The maximum length of stay is 14 consecutive days. The same site cannot be used again within 30 days. The total number of days per calendar year is 28 days.


Saddle, pack and draft animals are prohibited on the following trails and in the following areas:

The area and any trails above the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail from Timberline Lodge northwest to the north junction of Trail #757 Parasise Park Loop Trail.

Area within 200 feet of Ramona Falls.

From the horse barrier located 200 feet southwest of Ramona Falls on Timberline Trail #600 (formerly the PCT#2000) to the horse barrier 4000 feet wast of the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail as Identified on Exhibit B.

On the Ramona Falls Trail #797 (formerly known as the north part of the Ramona Falls Loop Trail #797) as identified on Exhibit B.

Hitching, tethering, picketing or securing any pack or saddle stock in violation of posted instructions is prohibited within 100 feet of any permanent lake, stream, pond, or shelter.

It is prohibited to possess or store hay or crop products that are not state certified weed free, to include any hay, hay cubes, straw, grain or other crop or mulch product within all congressionally designated Wilderness and trailheads leading into congressionally designated Wilderness within the boundaries of the National Forest System of the Pacific Northwest Region in the States of Washington, Oregon, California and Idaho. 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.

Learn more about why regulations may be necessary in wilderness.


The following user fee system(s) have been implemented for this wilderness: TRAILHEAD PARKING. 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.

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