Some of the many recreation opportunities on the Gifford Pinchot include hiking, backpacking, mountain climbing, horseback riding, ATVing, camping, boating, fishing, cross-country skiing and sightseeing.
The Forest contains numerous campgrounds and picnic areas. The Gifford Pinchot National Forest Visitor Map includes a list of facilities and activities available at each location. Camp spots can be either reservation or first-come, first-served basis. Several "horse camps" are all located on or near horse trails. Dispersed Camping is permitted throughout most of the Forest.
The Gifford Pinchot offers over 1,100 miles of trail at varying difficulty. Most trails are located in upper-elevation forest and alpine areas. Some trails lead to the many waterfalls on the Forest. Over 300 miles of trail are located within the wildernesses. Approximately 150 miles of new trails are constructed to barrier-free standard, which also includes several levels of difficulty. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail also crosses this National Forest.
Many trails on the Forest are open to mountain bikers. Although some are excellent riding trails, there are many that mountain bike riders would not choose to use.
The Gifford Pinchot is an excellent place for canoeing, kayaking, rafting, and other forms of boating. The abundant precipitation in the area feeds an extensive river system.