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Theodore Roosevelt Wilderness

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Area Management

Theodore Roosevelt 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 Theodore Roosevelt Wilderness to ensure protection of this unique area.


-- Open fires (wood, charcoal, etc.) are not permitted in the backcountry. Cooking must be done on a self-contained stove fueled by a commercial product. Use of stoves may be restricted in times of high fire danger.

-- All trash and other material packed in, including toilet paper, must be packed out. Burying trash is prohibited.

-- Do not wash dishes or use detergents in water sources.

-- Bury human waste in a shallow hole 6-8 inches deep and at least 200 feet from any water source. Carry out all toilet paper.

-- All plants, wildlife, natural, and cultural features are protected. Do not disturb or remove them. Collection is not permitted. Hunting, feeding wildlife, and chasing or harassing wildlife, including approaching wildlife on horseback, is prohibited.

-- Fireworks are not allowed in the park.

-- Pets, bicycles, and motorized equipment are prohibited in the backcountry.


-- A free backcountry permit is required. For the South Unit and the Elkhorn Ranch Unit, backcountry permits can be obtained at the South Unit Visitor Center in Medora. Permits are not issued at the Painted Canyon Visitor Center. For the North Unit, permits can be obtained at the North Unit Visitor Center.

-- Camping in the backcountry is limited to 14 consecutive days.

-- Overnight parties in the backcountry are limited to a maximum of 10 persons without horses, or 8 persons and 8 horses.

-- Backcountry camping is prohibited within 1/4 mile of roads and trailheads and within 200 feet of any water source. Campsites must not be visible from any roadway or trail.

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