A non-market valuation method was used to investigate the recreation values of the San Jacinto Wilderness in Southern California. The results suggest that recreationists are attracted to sites with recent wildfires that can be viewed up close. Societal benefits from recreational activity increased for sites that were partially affected by different types of wildfires. The greatest gains were observed for the most recent wildfires but wildfires causing trail closures created societal losses. Estimated total seasonal losses for complete closure of five trails, which excluded users from the land, ranged from $29,600 to $2.9 million.