Wilderness recreation opportunities are as diverse as the people who enjoy these special places. Do you have a favorite way to enjoy wilderness? Whatever you choose, be safe and plan ahead.

Group of hikers and wheelchair users travel along a trail.
A group of friends hike along a trail in the recommended wilderness of Glacier National Park. NPS photo

Quality Time Together

With few modern-day distractions, wilderness offers opportunities for people to connect not only with the rest of the natural world but also with each other. Whether you go out as a family or reconnect with an old friend, quality time spent in wilderness can help support quality time spent together.

Check out this list of kid-friendly tips and activities when visiting national parks (and the wilderness areas they contain!)
Hiker enjoys the wilderness views and prepares to take a photograph.
A hiker takes photographs of the mountain scenery in North Cascades National Park's Stephen Mather Wilderness. NPS photo

Reflection and Inspiration

Wilderness offers opportunities to slow down and be introspective. Learn more about these opportunities and reflect on your own wilderness experiences.

Get inspired and create in the Isle Royale Wilderness Artist-in-Residence Program in Michigan

Enjoy the quiet ease of a river trip in the Theodore Roosevelt Wilderness in North Dakota

People watch birds with binoculars.
A trio of birders use binoculars to get a closer look at birds in the Joshua Tree Wilderness. NPS photo


Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of wilderness. Wilderness helps protect nature's plants, animals, and habitats that we love.

Stargaze and enjoy the natural beauty of the night sky in the Death Valley Wilderness in California

See the resiliency of tough and tender native plants in the Haleakala Wilderness in Hawaii

A family rafts down a river.
With the help of a guide, a family rafts down a river in the Wrangell-St. Elias Wilderness. NPS photo

Discovery and Adventure

Feeling adventurous? Explore ways to discover adventure and challenge in wilderness. Remember to plan ahead and be prepared to have a safe and fun adventure.

Go off-trail and backpack in the Denali Wilderness in Alaska

Hike along bluffs and old homesites in the Buffalo National River Wilderness in Arkansas

A trail winds through leafy trees and ferns.
A trail weaves through the forest in the Shenandoah Wilderness. NPS photo

Last updated: March 18, 2024