National Wilderness Areas

Sign at the boundary of Uncompahgre Wilderness, Colorado, along the trail to Matterhorn Peak
Uncompahgre Wilderness, Colorado

In total, there are 109,478,939 acres of designated wilderness managed by the US Forest Service, the National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management. This is an area larger than the state of California (third largest of the 50 states). 52% of all wilderness acreage in the United States is in Alaska.

The US Forest Service oversees 439 designated wilderness areas for a total of 36,160,078 acres. The National Park Service lays claim to 43,890,500 acres in 60 locations (although some locations (like Lake Mead National Recreation Area) have multiple designated wilderness areas within them). US Fish & Wildlife Service manages another 20,702,350 acres in 71 areas. The Bureau of Land Management only has 221 wilderness sites, comprising some 8,726,011 acres. Some wilderness areas are managed by multiple agencies but there were a total of 756 designated Wilderness Areas in the United States (as of late 2013- a few more have mnade it through Congress since).

The list below is only a list of the National Designated Wildernesses, not wilderness areas managed by the various states and some tribal governments.

National Wilderness Areas
A view of some of the forests and mountains in Rocky Mountain National Park wilderness
Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness
Photos courtesy of TheArmchairExplorer, CCA-by-SA 3.0 License