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Backpacker Magazine – June 2009

America's Newest Wilderness

A quick guide to the best acres, trails, and views.

by: Charlie Wood

Spring Basin Wilderness (Doug Steakley)
Spring Basin Wilderness (Doug Steakley)
Rocky Mountain (Jim Davis/Onda.org)
Rocky Mountain (Jim Davis/Onda.org)
Washington County (Jim Dohms)
Washington County (Jim Dohms)

California

Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel Wild Heritage
Land protected 468,854 acres in eight wilderness areas
Natural wonder Great Basin bristlecone pines
Champion California Wild (californiawild.org)
See it now Exactly 589.5 trail miles lie within these eight parcels. Link Sabrina Basin and Gorge Lake Trails for a 7.5-mile treat in the expanded John Muir Wilderness. Top out at 11,585 feet before ending at Tyee Lake.
Info: fs.fed.us/r5/inyo

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Wilderness
Land protected 84,926 acres in the national parks, including more than 800 miles of trails
Natural wonder Giant sequoias
Champion Sierra Nevada Wild (sierranevadawild.gov)
See it now From Redwood Canyon trailhead, hike the 6.5-mile Hart Tree and Fallen Goliath Loop to see the area's largest sequoias.
Info: nps.gov/seki

California Desert and Mountain Heritage Land protected 146,824 acres, with 36,700 in Joshua Tree NP
Natural wonder A shrinking population of Joshua trees
Champion California Desert and Mountain Wilderness Campaign (desertmountainwild.org)
See it now Take the South Fork Trail from Jenks Lake Rd. for a five-mile (one way) ridge walk that drops to the San Jacinto River.
Info: fs.fed.us/r5/sanbernardino




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Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

Joel Hauschild
Apr 05, 2012

Calypso Cascades

The RMNP trail does go by falls and follows a mountain stream. But there are no lakes between the trail head and the cascades. You have to hike another 2-4 miles before you will see a lake. It is a high traffic wilderness area. Nothing like the other parts in the park.

Not true
Apr 05, 2012

Not true rather

Not true
Apr 05, 2012

At least not in Idaho/Utah, wilderness does mean all roads closed, and Zero motorized vehicles,period. Been air traffic is restricted. You hardly see anyone a couple miles in, and 20 miles in, forget it, it's wild life. Absolutely true for national parks though, as they make it easy for campers and such.

wayne gould
Apr 05, 2012

The best way to protect wildlife habitat is to close all roads and re-plant them. Once it is deemed a wilderness area it is sure to have excessive human visitation.

wayne gould
Apr 05, 2012

The best way to protect wildlife habitat is to close all roads and re-plant them. Once it is deemed a wilderness area it is sure to have excessive human visitation.

Anonymous
Feb 24, 2011

One of the surest ways I know to increase people in an area is to designate it 'wilderness.'

Doug Welker
Feb 24, 2011

The correct link for the West Virginia Wilderness Coalition is www.wvwild.org, NOT www.wvwild.com.

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