Wilderness conflict research has mostly followed the direction of recreation research in the U.S. An interpersonal recreation conflict model proposed in the late 1970s has guided much of the conflict research in wilderness, with emphasis on determining the amount of interpersonal conflict resulting from goal interference and how much one or more hypothesized contributors actually influence the occurrence of conflict. This approach is heavily rooted in expectancy-valence theory explanations of human recreation behavior and may contribute to an understanding of how social densities influence perceptions of conflict. The contributions of activity style, resource specificity, mode of experience and lifestyle tolerance to understanding interpersonal conflict arising from crowding largely comes in the form of understanding the role of expectations and importance attached to social density preferences. Today, however, wilderness conflict extends beyond recreation within the boundaries of wilderness, beyond interpersonal interaction, and beyond the boundaries of wilderness to competing demands for the wilderness resource. Understanding of the causes for differences in attitudes toward wilderness and the meanings various subpopulations attribute to wilderness resources will be critical to developing solutions for conflict management and managing the social mix among all demands in the future.