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Winegar Hole Wilderness

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Area Management

The Winegar Hole 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 Winegar Hole 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.


-- Group size is limited to no more than 20 people. Larger groups must split into two or more smaller groups and remain a minimum of 1/2 mile apart.

-- Do not shortcut switchbacks.

-- Pack out all debris, garbage, or other waste.

-- Food and other attractants must be properly stored when unattended to minimize adverse interactions between humans and wildlife.

-- Storing equipment, personal property, or supplies (caching) is prohibited.

-- Possessing or placing salt for the purpose of attracting wildlife is prohibited.

-- As with all designated Wilderness areas, mechanical vehicles (including wagons, game carts, bicycles, and other vehicles) is prohibited.


-- Camping is prohibited within 200 feet of any lakeshore and 100 feet of any stream bank.

-- Occupying any single location for longer than 16 days is prohibited.


-- Groups are limited to no more than 20 head of pack or saddle stock.

-- Possessing forage except for pelletized feed or certified weed seed free hay, stray, whole grains, and cubed products is prohibited.

-- Hitching pack or saddle stock within 200 feet of any lake or 100 feet of any stream is prohibited.

Learn more about why regulations may be necessary in wilderness.

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