Leave No Trace, Everyone's To Enjoy

Planning Ahead and Prepare

  • Learn to comply with area regulations and obtain required permits as needed.
  • Understand weather patterns and local weather conditions.
  • Repackage food to minimize waste.
  • Understand and be knowledge of routes and terrain.
  • Know how to use a map and compass.
  • Pack appropriate meals, shelter and clothing.
  • Travel and camp in small groups.
  • Avoid time of high use.
  • Always let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.

Dispose of Waste Properly

  • Wastewater – pack out food scraps and wash dishes using a small amount of biodegradable soap at least 200 feet from camp and any water source.
  • Human Waste – proper disposal helps prevent spread of disease and illness to others. Dig a cat hole 6 to 8 inches deep, 200 feet away from campsites, trails and water sources.

Selecting a Campsite

  • Select a campsite at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
  • In popular areas, concentrate use on existing trails and campsites. In pristine areas, disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
  • Good campsites are found not made. Altering a campsite is not necessary. Do not dig trenches around tents, build log seats or hammer nails into trees.


  • Use only dead and downed wood.
  • Where fires are permitted use established fire rings, fire pans or mound fires. Do not make a fire ring of rocks.
  • Burn all wood and coals to ash, extinguish campfires completely then widely scatter cool ashes. Never leave a smoldering campfire, as wind can cause it to flare up.

In the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area, open fires are PROHIBITED in the Black Canyon drainage off of the Lake Fork Trail and in the Fossil Lake/Dewey Lake area of the upper end of the East Rosebud Trail. ELSEWHERE "Leave No Trace" fires are allowed.

In the Lee Metcalf Wilderness no open fires are allowed within a 1/2 mile of Lava Lake.

Pack it in / Pack it Out

  • Pack out all trash. Never bury garbage or burn it in the fire pit.

Leave What you Find

  • Leave flowers, sticks, driftwood, rocks, bones, antlers, arrowheads and other archaeological artifacts behind. Many objects may be illegal to remove. Allow others a sense of discovery.

Respect Wildlife

  • Be quiet and observe wildlife from afar to avoid disturbing them.
  • Give wildlife more space during breeding, nesting and birthing seasons.
  • Help keep wildlife wild. Keep food, garbage and other attractants away from animals.

Respect Others

  • Thoughtful campers are considerate of others and respect their privacy.
  • Keep noise down.
  • Control pets at all times.
  • Respect private property and leave gates open or closed as found.
  • Show courtesy to others you meet and follow common trail etiquette.