view of cloud shadows on Pinto Mountain, with Wilderness50 logo

NPS/Sara Feldt


Wilderness is an area “…where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain…”

The Wilderness Act established federally-managed lands preserved as large, roadless tracts where mechanized vehicles and equipment are not permitted, where permanent evidence of modern human occupation is not allowed, and where future development is not considered. In 1976 about eighty percent of Joshua Tree National Monument was designated wilderness. The 1994 California Desert Protection Act added 163,800 acres of wilderness, bringing the park total to 585,000 acres.

September 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Protection Act of 1964.

Wilderness Map
In designated wilderness, facilities and improvements such as trails, signs, and campsites may be provided only where they are necessary to protect resources and the public’s health and safety. Wilderness areas offer opportunities for a primitive and unconfined recreational experience. They provide visitors with greater solitude and quiet, with opportunities to explore where few others have ventured.

Wilderness.net is a collaborative website that educates visitors about wilderness and the value of public lands preservation. The site houses comprehensive information about all Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service and National Park Service wilderness areas.

Wilderness.net provides information about regulations, trip planning tips, and contact information. In addition to learning about specific wilderness areas, visitors can also access educational information on wilderness history, important and influential personalities, the values and benefits of wilderness, threats to wilderness and much more.

Did You Know?