Wild Places

The United States has one of the richest wildland systems in the world. There are plenty of national parks and forests, wilderness study areas and wildlife refuges for you to experience and enjoy.

Our nation has a more than 100-year legacy of working to protect wildlands so they exist for future generations to experience and enjoy. While the United States may be a world leader in protecting wilderness, there is still much work to be done.

Every wildland deserves care — and many are under-protected. At Wilderness, we have been working since 1935 to complete a system of protected wildlands in the United States. This includes officially designated wilderness and other public land designations.

Today we focus on 10 wild places that are critical to completing that system.

Alaska and the Arctic

From the ancient old-growth spruce in the Tongass National Forest to the Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska is one of the world’s greatest wild places to visit.

California

From stunning Sierra forests to vast desert vistas, California has spectacular wildlands, many within a short drive from Los Angeles and other major urban centers.

Colorado Plateau

The Colorado Plateau is one of the last remnants of the wild west. This wild, untamed area covers parts of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Crown of the Continent

The Crown of the Continent in Montana’s Rocky Mountains is just as wild today as when Lewis and Clark traveled it more than 200 years ago.

North Cascades

The North Cascades is a rugged landscape stretching 13 million acres of wild country in Washington state, from the Canadian border to the foothills of Mt. Rainier.

Northern Forest

The Northern Forest, which stretches across New England, is known for its breath-taking scenery, abundant wildlife and world-class recreation. It is one of America’s greatest natural treasures.

Southern Appalachians

With its cool waterfalls, serene woods and brilliant wildflowers, the wild forests of the Southern Appalachians draw thousands of visitors each year.

Other places we work

In addition to the seven key landscapes listed, The Wilderness Society also works on important wilderness issues in:

  • In the first of a three management plans to be released in 2015, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Colorado missed a great opportunity to protect some of Colorado's most treasured landscapes—including the Dolores River, lands surrounding Mesa Verde National Park and recreation hub

  • When school was out for the summer in the suburbs of Manhattan where I grew up, my mom packed our little Subaru hatchback with sleeping bags, a tent, a cooler filled with fruit and sandwich meat, hiking boots, rain gear, and three kids, and headed West.  Like generations before and since, w

  • The Forest Service recently released a plan that could protect much of Colorado’s Thompson Divide from new oil and gas leasing. For years, this spectacular area has been threatened by oil and gas development.