Rules, Regulations, and Forest Orders
As a visitor to the National Forests, you are asked to follow certain rules designed to protect the Forests and the natural environment, to ensure the health and safety of visitors, and to promote a pleasant and rewarding outdoor recreation experience for all visitors. Follow the links below for more information.
Forest or Regional Orders
Regional Foresters and Forest Supervisors may issue orders that will close or restrict the use of certain areas if the need arises. Such orders will be posted so that visitors to the National Forest can reasonably be expected to be familiar with them. Copies of the orders will be available in the offices of Forest Supervisors and District Rangers. Follow the link listed above to view and read the Forest Orders.
- Learn more about Eldorado National Forest and Regional Orders.
Common 36CFR Regulations
Please select from the following options to learn more.
- Operating or using in or near a campsite, developed recreation site, or over an adjacent body of water without a permit, any device which produces noise, such as a radio, television, musical instrument, motor or engine in such a manner and at such a time so as to unreasonably disturb any person (261.10i).
- Operating or using a public address system, whether fixed, portable, or vehicle mounted, in or near a campsite, developed recreation site, or over an adjacent body of water without a permit (261.10j).
- Selling or offering for sale any merchandise, conducting any kind of work activity or service unless authorized by Federal law, regulation, or permit (261.10c)
- Commercial distribution of printed material without a special use authorization. (261.10g).
Campfires & Fire Related
- Building, attending, maintaining or using a fire outside a fire ring provided by the Forest Service for such purpose or outside a stove, grill, or fireplace (261.16b).
- Carelessly or negligently throwing or placing any ignited substance or other substance that may cause a fire (261.5a).
- Firing any tracer bullet or incendiary ammunition. (261.5b).
- Causing timber, trees, slash, brush or grass to burn except as authorized by permit. (261.5c).
- Leaving a fire without completely extinguishing it. (261.5d).
- Causing and failing to maintain control of a fire that is not a prescribed fire that damages the National Forest System.(261.5e).
- Building, attending, maintaining, or using a campfire without removing all flammable material from around the campfire adequate to prevent its escape.(261.5f).
- Negligently failing to maintain control of a prescribed fire on Non-National Forest System lands that damages the National Forest System.(261.5g).
Developed Recreation Sites
- Failure to pay any recreation fee. (261.17)
- Occupying any portion of the site for other than recreation purposes. (261.16a)
- Building, attending, maintaining, or using a fire outside of a fire ring provided by the Forest Service for such purpose or outside of a stove, grill or fireplace. (261.16b)
- Cleaning or washing any personal property, fish, animal, or food, or bathing or washing at a hydrant or water faucet not provided for that purpose. (261.16c)
- Discharging or igniting a firecracker, rocket or other firework, or explosive. (261.16d)
- Occupying between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. a place designated for day use only. (261.16e)
- Failing to remove all camping equipment or personal property when vacating the area or site. (261.16f)
- Placing, maintaining, or using camping equipment except in a place specifically designated or provided for such equipment. (261.16g)
- Without permission, failing to have at least one
person occupy a camping area during the first night after camping equipment has been set up. (261.16h)
- Leaving camping equipment unattended for more than 24 hours without permission. (261.16i)
- Bringing in or possessing an animal, other than a seeing eye dog, unless it is crated, caged, or upon a leash not longer than six feet, or otherwise under physical restrictive control.
- Bringing in or possessing in a swimming area an animal, other than a seeing eye dog.( 261.16k)
- Bringing in or possessing a saddle, pack, or draft animal except as authorized by posted instructions.(261.16l)
- Operating or parking a motor vehicle or trailer except in places developed or designated for this purpose. (261.16m)
- Operating a bicycle, motorbike, or motorcycle on a trail unless designated for this use. (261.16n)
- Operating a motorbike, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle for any purpose other than entering or leaving the site. (261.16o)
- Depositing any body waste except into receptacles provided for that purpose.(261.16p)
Fireworks and Firearms
- Discharging a firearm or any other implement capable of taking human life, causing injury, or damaging property: (1) In or within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site, or occupied area, or (2) across or on a Forest System road or a body of water adjacent thereto, or in any manner or place whereby any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result of such discharge (3) Into or within any cave (261.10d).
- Discharging or igniting a firecracker, rocket or other firework, or explosive (261.16d).
Fish and Wildlife
State law applies to activities within the national forests. Refer to Department of Fish and Game for fishing and hunting regulations. (opens in a new window)
Pets and Animals
- Pets must be always restrained or on a leash while in developed recreation sites.
- Pets (except guide dogs) are not allowed in swimming areas.
- Saddle or pack animals are allowed in recreation sites only where authorized by posted instructions. Hitching, tethering or hobbling a horse that causes damage to live trees, soil, or water is prohibited.
- Do not carve, chop, cut, or damage any live trees.
- Preserve and protect your National Forests. Leave natural areas the way you find them.
- Enter buildings, structures, or enclosed areas in Natural Forest only when they are expressly opened to the public.
- Native American sites, old cabins, and other structures, along with objects and artifacts associated with them, have historic or archeological value. Do not damage or remove any such historic or archeological resource or other property of the United States.
- No fighting or boisterous behavior.
- Keep noise at a reasonable level. Please be considerate of fellow visitors.
- Threatening, intimidating, or interfering with any forest employee is a federal offense.
- Throw all garbage and litter in containers provided for this purpose, or take it with you.
- Garbage containers, when provided, are reserved for the use of visitors to the National Forest, not visitors to or owners of private lands or lands under permit.
- Wash food and personal items away from drinking water supplies. Use faucets only for drawing water.
- Prevent pollution - keep garbage, litter, and foreign substances out of lakes, streams, and other water.
- Use toilets properly. Do not throw garbage, litter, fish cleanings, or other foreign substances in toilets and plumbing fixtures.
- Obey all traffic signs.
- State traffic laws apply to National Forest unless otherwise specified. License tags, insurance and DUI violations are strictly enforced.
- When operating vehicles of any kind, do not damage the land or vegetation or disturb the wildlife. Avoid riding or driving on unpaved roads or trails when they are wet or muddy.
- Within campgrounds and other recreation sites, use cars, street legal motorcycles, or other motor vehicles only for entering or leaving, unless areas or trails are specifically marked for them. A maximum of two (2) vehicles per campsite is allowed.
- Do not block, restrict, or interfere with the use of roads or trails, especially gated roads.
- Obey area and trail restrictions on use of trail bikes and other off-the-road vehicles. Off Road Vehicles or ATVs must stay on designated trails.