hiking above playa

Leave No Trace


Leave No Trace Principals
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1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
Red Rock has certain rules and regulations to protect both our visitors and the conservation area. The weather in the Mojave Desert can be extreme; check the weather before you come out. Try to visit in small groups and car pool to minimize your impact while visiting. Know where you are going before you come, bring a topo map with you to avoid getting lost.

2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
Please hike on designated trails. Plants in the desert take a long time to grow back when they are trampled. If you are lost, hike on durable surfaces. Never disturb cryptobiotic crust. Camp in designated spots at the Red Rock Campground or at least 200 yards away from a water source when backcountry camping in approved areas.

3. Dispose of Waste Properly
Take out everything you brought in, including toilet paper when in the backcountry. Waste and litter take much longer to decay in the desert because there is so little moisture. Don’t leave food out – our resident critters may become habituated and lose their natural survival instincts. Both human and dog feces are a pollutant. Please bag up your dog waste and place in trash cans.

4. Leave What You Find
Leave artifacts and historical sites how and where you find them for the next person to enjoy. Leave plants and rocks where you find them.  Animals use these to survive in the desert. Don’t build structures – this includes cairns which can be confusing to hikers.

5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
In the front country, use established fire areas. In the back country be aware of fire restrictions.  It’s hot, windy and dry in the Mojave Desert and fires can start very quickly.  Ground fires are not allowed in our backcountry. Burn all wood or coals completely, make sure your fire is out and then scatter the ashes. Even a cigarette flicked out of a moving car can start a wildfire.

6. Respect Wildlife
This is their home and we are just guests. Please don’t do anything to alter their behavior. Control your dogs and make sure they are leashed at all times. Observe from a distance – for your safety and theirs. Never feed them, this alters their behavior and makes them more susceptible to predation. Avoid wildlife during mating, nesting season and when they have young.

7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Don’t forget that you are part of other’s experiences. Share the road with joggers and cyclists, look out for them when going around corners. Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering horses on trail. Your voice can carry and scare away animals or drown out nature’s sounds.