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.

A family walks along a wilderness creek.
A family walks along a creek in wilderness. NPS photo

Quality Time Together

Our friends at the National Park Foundation put together a helpful list of family-friendly activities in national parks. Many of these activities can be done in wilderness, so pack that picnic basket and blanket and find a quiet spot in wilderness to enjoy your time together!
Artist paints amidst vast tundra wilderness.
An Artist-in-Residence paints the Noatak 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

Visitors sit atop a boulder and look at desert landscape.
Friends enjoy the views of the Saguaro 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

Skier prepares for a day in the snow by camp.
Visitor skis and snowcamps in the Yosemite Wilderness. NPS/Haley Bercot

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.
Shenandoah Wilderness. NPS photo.

Looking for more wilderness recreation ideas?

Check out the NPS Recreation Website for options within and outside of wilderness areas.

Last updated: December 29, 2021


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