Congress defined wilderness as being an "area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man..."  When you think of California, "untrammeled" is probably not your first image, but rather high-rise buildings in busy cities, elevated freeways, and stretches of suburban houses.  In reality, there are large swaths of areas in the State that are still primitive, natural, and roadless.  Ensuring these wild places remain for present and future generations is important.  Congress has designated areas of public lands in California as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.  These represent some of the system's most spectacular units, ranging from desert sand dunes to the Pacific coastline, and from river canyons to mountain peaks.  The BLM also manages Wilderness Study Areas to maintain their wilderness qualities until a decision is made by Congress.

Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas are a component of the National Landscape Conservation System .

Explore these pages to learn more about these special places:

Discover the Desert

Sunlight illuminates bare tree branches with purple mountains in the background
Inyo Mountains Wilderness



Explore Wilderness Areas

Junior Ranger Activities & Adventures
(ages 8 - 18)

Purchase a California Wall Map

Hikers pause where California poppies and green hillsides meet the ocean
King Range Wilderness