Due to a lapse in federal funding, this USDA website will not be actively updated. Once funding has been reestablished, online operations will continue. On-going operational updates will be posted here (https://www.fs.fed.us/shutdown) as we are able to provide them.



Forest Protection Officer (FPO) talking with a backpackerThe rules and regulations on this page are designed to ensure the health and safety of visitors to our region, to protect the natural environment of the national forests and grasslands within the Rocky Mountain Region, and to promote pleasant and rewarding outdoor recreation experiences for all visitors. While you are enjoying the many diverse types of recreation opportunities available within the Rocky Mountain Region, if you ever believe someone is acting in an illegal or unsafe manner, call or visit the closest Ranger District office for help.
Forest Officers are empowered to enforce the federal regulations that these rules are taken from. Select a topic below to go straight to those rules:
Audio Devices
  • Operate any audio device, such as a radio or musical instrument, so that it does not disturb other visitors
  • A permit is required for operating a public address system in or near a campsite, developed recreation site, or over a body of water
Business Activities
  • Permits are required for any commercial activity conducted on US Forest Service lands
  • Use picnic sites, swimming beaches, and other day use areas only between the hours of 6:00 am and 10:00 pm
  • Campgrounds and other recreation sites can be used ONLY for recreation purposes
  • In campgrounds, camp only in those places specifically marked or provided
  • At least one person must occupy a camping area during the first night after camping equipment has been set up, unless permission has otherwise been granted by the Forest Service
  • Do not leave camping equipment unattended for more than 24 hours without permission from the Forest Service, the Federal Government is not responsible for any loss or damage to personal property
  • Remove all personal property and trash when leaving
  • Obey any restrictions on fires
  • Within campgrounds and other recreation sites, build fires only in fire rings, stoves, grills, or fireplaces provided for that purpose
  • Be sure your fire is completely extinguished before leaving
  • You are responsible for keeping fires under control!
Fee Areas
  • You must pay a fee to use certain developed sites and facilities, such areas are clearly signed or posted as requiring a fee
  • Where fees are required, you must pay them before using the site, facility, equipment, or service furnished
  • Fireworks and explosives are prohibited in national forests and grasslands
  • Firearms are legal to use for hunting and target shooting in national forests and grasslands as long as you use your guns responsibly
  • However, firing a gun is not allowed in the following circumstances:
    • in or within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site, or occupied area
    • from or across any road or body of water
    • in any circumstance whereby any person may be injured or property damaged
Motor Vehicles
  • Obey all traffic signs
  • State traffic laws apply to national forests and grasslands unless otherwise specified
  • When operating vehicles of any kind, do not damage the land or vegetation or disturb wildlife, avoid driving on unpaved roads or trails when they are wet or muddy
  • Within campgrounds and other recreation sites, use cars, motorbikes, motorcycles, or other motor vehicles only for entering or leaving, unless areas or trails are specifically marked for them, park only in marked parking areas
  • Do not block, restrict, or interfere with the use of roads or trails
  • Obey area and trail restrictions on the use of trail bikes and other OHVs
  • You must pay a fee to use certain developed sites and facilities, such areas are clearly signed or posted as requiring a fee
  • Where fees are required, you must pay them before using the site, facility, equipment, or service furnished
  • If you have any questions or need help, please contact the nearest Forest Service officer or visit the nearest Ranger District office
Pets/Pack Animals
  • Pets must always be 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
Public Behavior
  • No fighting or boisterous behavior
  • Keep noise at a reasonable level, please be considerate of fellow visitors
  • Throw all garage 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 or grassland, not visitors to or owners of private lands or lands under permit
  • Wash food and personal items away from drinking water supplies
  • 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
Special Orders
  • The Regional Forester and/or 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 national forests and grasslands can reasonably be expected to be familiar with them, copies of the orders will also be available in Forest Supervisor and Ranger District offices
  • Motor vehicles and motorized equipment are not allowed in wilderness areas
  • Preserve wilderness - “Leave only footprints, take only pictures”
Smokey Bear nodding
Remember...Use Forest Service Lands
In a Safe and Ethical Manner!