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BLM>Colorado>Programs>Recreation>Information and Guidelines>Leave No Trace & Stay the Trail
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Protecting the Land


While taking part in recreational activities on BLM public lands, it is essential for us to respect the natural world. By minimizing our impact on the environment, we maintain healthy ecosystems, conserve vital habitats for wildlife, preserve the beauty of Colorado's stunning landscapes, protect archaeological and paleontological resources for continued enjoyment and ensure that natural resources will be available for future generations. Leave No Trace and Stay the Trail principles are necessary for sustaining BLM public lands. These guidelines are outlined below.


Leave No Trace

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
    1. Be familiar with important regulations.
    2. Prepare for hazards and emergencies.
    3. Use a map and compass.
    4. Avoid visiting during times of high use and visit in small groups.
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
    1. Durable surfaces include campsites, trails, rock, gravel, dry grasses and snow.
    2. Camp 200 feet from lakes or streams.
    3. In popular locations, use unvegetated areas and keep campsites small.
    4. In pristine areas, disperse use to avoid creating campsites and trails.
    5. Walk in the middle of the trail, even when it is wet or muddy.
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
    1. Pack it in, pack it out.
    2. Deposit human waste in catholes 6 to 8 inches deep and 200 feet from water.
    3. Bring water for washing 200 feet from lakes or streams.
  4. Leave What You Find
    1. Leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects as you find them.
    2. Examine cultural and paleontological resources without touching.
    3. Avoid introducing non-native species.
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
    1. Use existing fire rings or fire pans.
    2. Keep fires small and use only fallen sticks that can be broken by hand.
    3. Burn wood and coals completely and scatter cool ashes.
  6. Respect Wildlife
    1. Observe wildlife from a distance, do not follow them and never feed them.
    2. Avoid wildlife during sensitive times, such as mating, nesting or wintertime.
    3. Control pets at all times.
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
    1. Camp far from trails and other visitors.
    2. Avoid loud voices and other noises.

Stay the Trail Colorado

  1. Ride only on routes wider than your vehicle
    1. Certain trail types are constructed for vehicles of specific widths.
    2. Trail width contributes to the challenge.
  2. Ride only on routes open to your vehicle
    1. Adhere to vehicle designations displayed on the brown trail signs.
    2. A red slash indicates that a trail is closed to that type of vehicle.
  3. Ride over obstacles; not around them
    1. Riding around obstacles widens trails, impacts vegetation and causes erosion.
    2. Ride over obstacles carefully.
  4. Be an ambassador to non-motorized trail users, including livestock and wildlife
    1. Yield to non-motorized trail users.
    2. Give space to wildlife and livestock.
    3. Slow down where visibility is limited.
  5. Louder doesn't mean faster
    1. Use an appropriate exhaust system.
    2. Repack mufflers and silencers properly.
    3. Keep bolts thoroughly tightened.
  6. Slow down for your fellow riders
    1. On narrow trails, pass others carefully.
    2. Pass on the left side.
    3. Pull over to let faster vehicles pass.
    4. While staging, do not block trail access.
  7. Hunting with off-highway vehicles
    1. While riding, rifles and bows must be unloaded and stored in a case.
    2. Shooting from a vehicle is prohibited.
    3. Hunting violations may result in fines.