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 Utah Travel Center Utah Wilderness


On the simplest level, wilderness is land intended to provide opportunities for respectful public use, enjoyment of quiet and solitude, and understanding of the values of the wild.

Technically, wilderness is defined by the National Wilderness Preservation Act of 1964, as an area of undeveloped federally owned land, designated by Concress, that has the following characteristics: it is affected primarily by the forces of nature, where man is a visitor who does not remain. It may contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value. It possesses outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined-type of recreation. It is an area large enough so that continued use will not change its unspoiled, natural condition.

In practical terms, wilderness is simply land managed in a way that allows for long-term continuation of natural ecosystems, and the preservation of places that are scientifically, geologically, or historically unique.

Although motor vehicles (and mountain bikes) are not allowed in wilderness areas except under special circumstances, wilderness is widely used for hunting, fishing, horseback riding, hiking, backpacking, and camping. Mining is conducted on preexisting claims. Grazing continues where it is already established. Wilderness areas provide the settings for many of Utah's most unusual guided adventures.

What is allowed in wilderness designated areas (permits may be required): hunting and fishing, livestock grazing where already established, mining on preexisting claims, camping, rafting, kayaking, and canoeing, guiding and outfitting, scientific studies and educational programs, foot and horse travel, control of wildfires, insects and disease outbreaks.

What is not allowed in wilderness designated areas: use of mechanized transport except in emergencies or medical transport, road building, logging and similar commercial uses, new mining claims, any new development of dams, reservoirs or power lines, except in an emergency when the president authorizes them in the national interest.

In Utah, the U.S. Forest Service administers 774,520 acres of wilderness across the state, in the following 13 blocks:

• Deseret Peak Wilderness
Northern Utah 25,500 acres

High Uintas Wilderness
Eastern Utah 456,705 acres

Lone Peak Wilderness
Northern Utah 30,0888 acres
Mt. Nebo Wilderness
Central Utah 28,000 acres
Mt. Naomi Wilderness
Northern Utah 44,350 acres
Ashdown Grove Wilderness
Southwestern Utah 7,000 acres
Mt. Olympus Wilderness
Northern Utah 16,000 acres
Box-Death Hollow Wilderness
Southwestern Utah 25,814 acres
Wellsville Mtns Wilderness
Northern Utah 23,850 acres
Pine Valley Mtns Wilderness
Southwestern Utah 50,000 acres
Timpanogos Wilderness
Northern Utah 10,750 acres
Dark Canyon Wilderness
Southeastern Utah 45,000 acres
Twin Peaks Wilderness
Northern Utah 11,463 acres

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administers two wilderness areas in Utah:

Beaver Dam Mtns Wilderness
Southwestern Utah 2,600 acres
Paria Canyon Wilderness
Southwestern Utah 20,000
acres

In addition, the BLM currently manages 3.2 million acres as Wilderness Study Areas.

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