Recreate with Respect

These eight basic principles will enhance your visit and help us sustain public lands for everyone's enjoyment.

Person checking mapKnow Before You Go.

Respect the value of planning and preparation! By familiarizing yourself with rules and issues specific to the site you are visiting, your visit will be more convenient and enjoyable.

  • Experience the Columbia River Gorge the way it was meant to be experienced with the Ready, Set, Gorge tips!
  • Explore our interactive recreation map, browse our recreation sites by activity, or check site conditions on our Recreation page.

Wooden barrier near dropoffStay Safe.

Respect yourself by understanding risks, staying within your limits, and taking responsibility for your safety. Respect closures, signs and barriers, and realize that they may save your life. 

cars in congested roadwayShare Outdoor Spaces.

Share the road, trail, and other public spaces respectfully with other visitors. In other words, be nice! Use common courtesy and respect that others may be seeking solitude.  

group hiking single fileConsider Your Companions.

Give extra thought to group needs and impacts, and respect any special needs of companions -- particularly young kids or animals.          

Open for business signThink Like a Local.

Respect local color and cultures and help keep rural communities vibrant by supporting local businesses.             

  • Find local itineraries, tours, and chambers of commerce on our About The Area page.
  • Respect tribal fishing rights and consider buying native-caught fish. Learn more…

Trail signsLeave No Trace.

Stay on the trail, tread lightly, and leave objects of natural beauty intact as a way of respecting wildlife, the environment, and future visitors.     

  • First and last rule of thumb: Pack It In, Pack It Out.
  • Get more tips on how to tread lightly in the Gorge at our Safety and Outdoor Ethics page.

Smokey pointingOnly YOU Can Prevent Wildfires.

Check on fire risks and respect restrictions that apply to campfires as well as chainsaw and firearm use on public lands. Fireworks are always prohibited on all federal public lands.

  • Find out more about danger levels and restrictions in the Gorge. 
  • Learn the skill and art of safely cooking over a fire!

historic restroom buildingPreserve the Past.

Respect the past by preserving historic structures and leaving archaeological artifacts and fossils undisturbed. Enjoy petroglyphs from a distance and don’t dig or probe for artifacts. Report vandalism and looting.


Rangers smile for the camera at Wahkeena Falls

How do you #RecreatewithRespect? Share your stories with us on social media at or