Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace is a national program that promotes and inspires responsible outdoor recreation and stewardship of America's public lands. The National Park Service is a cooperating partner in this program, along with other federal land management agencies. You can help minimize impacts to the natural resources and social experiences of other visitors by practicing the seven principles listed below. For more information, please visit the website:

Plan Ahead and Prepare: Know and respect regulations and the inherent risks in the parks. Select activities and routes that have a degree of difficulty suitable for everyone in your group. Pack adequate food, water, clothing, maps, compass, first-aid supplies and equipment. Avoid traveling in the backcountry alone and always let someone know your exact plans. Travel in small groups, split large parties into groups of four-to-six people per group.

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces: Stay on trails and walk single file. Shortcutting, switchbacks and/or leaving trails causes erosion and vegetation damage. Select durable surfaces for rest breaks. If you must travel off-trail, use rock, snow, gravel or dry grasses, and disperse your impact by walking abreast. Use designated campsites to help minimize your impact on the land.

Dispose of Waste Properly: Keep the parks litter-free by packing out everything you pack in. Never leave, bury or burn leftover food items. Scatter gray water away from camp after straining and removing food scraps. In lieu of toilets, deposit solid human waste in a six- to eight-inch-deep cat hole dug in organic soil at least 200 feet from any water source, and well off of the hiking trails. Fill and disguise the hole, and pack out your toilet paper. A small trowel is a must for this technique. Urinate in toilets or on durable surfaces to reduce damage to soil and vegetation from salt- craving wildlife. To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.

Leave What You Find: All natural and historical objects are protected by law (except for fish and berries for personal consumption only). Leave objects for others to enjoy. Never make alterations to campsites or to other natural features.

Minimize Campfire Impacts: Consider using a cook stove, which is more efficient. Campfires are restricted to designated fire pits and should be kept small. Burn fires down to white ash and make sure they are dead out.

Respect Wildlife: Never intentionally approach or disturb wild-life. Leave young animals alone and avoid nesting, feeding or mating animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors and exposes them to predators and other dangers. In Rocky Mountain National Park, pets are prohibited on all trails and throughout the backcountry.

Be Considerate of Others: Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience. Hikers should yield to stock users by stepping to the downhill side of the trail. Let nature's sounds prevail by keeping noise levels to a minimum.