National Wildlife Refuge System

Wilderness

A hiker celebrates a breathtaking wilderness view atop Chupadera Peak at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico

Wilderness offers soul-stirring adventures. A hiker celebrates a breathtaking wilderness view atop Chupadera Peak at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Credit: USFWS

 

On September 3, 1964, President Johnson signed the Wilderness Act into law, protecting the country’s wildest places for generations to come. The landmark conservation law protects nearly 110 million acres of U.S. wilderness – 20 million of them within the National Wildlife Refuge System.


You can explore wilderness on 63 refuges in 26 states. About 90 percent of the Refuge System’s wilderness is in Alaska. Some refuge wilderness areas – such as Great Swamp in New Jersey and Fort Niobrara in Nebraska – are surprisingly near urban centers.


Celebrate wilderness – it’s your birthright!


Wilderness Fact Sheet


Wilderness on Refuges


Scenic Refuge Wilderness Photos

Smithsonian Wilderness Forever Exhibit

Stories

Click a state below to find wilderness areas near you.


Map of United States displaying location of wilderness areas OhioDelawareHawaii Massachusetts Mississippi Missouri Minnesota North Carolina New Jersey Virginia Vermont New Mexico Oregon Montana Alaska Michigan Georgia North Dakota Wisconsin Arizonia Arkansas Illinois Nebraska Washington California Maine Oklahoma South Carolina Louisiana Bosque del Apache Wilderness Bosque del Apache Wilderness Bosque del Apache Wilderness Bosque del Apache Wilderness Bosque del Apache Wilderness Artic Great White Heron Keys West Natinal Key Deer Nevada Selawik Wilderness Koyukuk Wilderness Innoko Wilderness Togiak Wilderness Becharof Wilderness Izembek Wilderness Kenai Wilderness Colorado J.N. "Din" Darling Florida MassachusettsMississippaMissouriNorth DakotaNorth DakotaNew JerseyVirginiaNorth DakotaNew MexicoOregonWichita MountainsMichiganGeorgiaNorth DakotaWisconsinArizoniaWichita MountainsIllinoisNebraskaWashingtonCaliforniaMaineOklahomaSouth CarolinaWichita Mountains Bosque del Apache Wilderness Bosque del Apache Wilderness Bosque del Apache Wilderness Bosque del Apache Wilderness Bosque del Apache Wilderness Artic Great White Heron Keys West Natinal Key Deer Wichita Mountains Selawik Wilderness Koyukuk Wilderness Innoko Wilderness Togiak Wilderness Becharof Wilderness Izembek Wilderness Kenai Wilderness Colorado J.N. "Din" Darling Monomoy

Last updated: February 18, 2015