I've noticed a lot of chatter from friends wanting to spend time this summer in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. That got me thinking...if so many people I know haven't ever been there, they probably don't know how 'wild' the wilderness IS in The Bob.

You can bring your dogs but you'll be leaving the car or truck behind. Hiking or horses is the rule of the Bob Marshall. It takes some serious planning if you want to spend meaningful time within it's boundaries.

It's a beautiful, special place for a reason. Breaking the basic rules is not only expensive but as we've seen before, it can be BRUTAL in the social media world if you're caught doing something stupid.

Here are just a few of the basic rules of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex (BMWC):

  • 15 persons MAX in a group - If you're planning a large, family reunion, the BMWC is not the place to have it.
  • No Commercial Activities without special permission - unless you've got some high-up granted access (which DOES occasionally happen with outfitters, etc.) you shouldn't use the BMWC for profit in any way. Don't even try to sell mushrooms you gather. You'll be reported for sure.
  • "Hiking or Horses Only" - No motorized vehicles of any kind are permitted. You can't even bring your bike. Y'all are literally hiking in or riding a horse. That's it. No drones either. You can't even use a cart or wagon of any kind. (Now the popularity of horses makes sense, eh?
  • Know Where You're Going - there are over 1,000 miles of trail within the Bob Marshall Complex. It's rugged, rural and rough. Getting lost in a place like this can be deadly if you're not prepared. The Bob Marshall is over 1,000,000 acres...have a plan.
  • You Can't 'Store' Supplies - Don't get caught caching supplies for later. That's a no-no. You carry what you need for your trip, no matter how long. And it goes without saying...you pack out all of your waste and garbage. Plan for that. There are helpful tips on the interwebs.
  • Abide by the 7 Principles of 'Leave No Trace' - This is good practice anywhere but in one of the most pristine wilderness areas on the planet...it's important.

For further rules and contact information, including nearby ranger stations and districts, take a look at this USDA guide for the Bob Marshall. Very handy.

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