Leave No Trace

The Arizona Office of Tourism and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics have forged a new partnership to promote sustainable tourism practices across Arizona’s spectacular landscapes and unique destinations. Because people form lasting connections with nature when they understand how to protect it. Here is where you can find information to equip you with Leave No Trace knowledge and skills to protect Arizona's iconic natural features while enjoying these spectacular destinations.

It begins with The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace.

Arizona's Seven Principles of Leave No Trace

Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness

No. 1 Plan Ahead & Prepare

Plan trip activities to match your goals, skills and abilities for you or your group. With so much to do across the state, it’s easy to forget you may encounter higher altitudes across Arizona’s desert environment so prepare for Arizona’s diverse landscape and weather by researching and choosing the right clothing and gear.

Obtain any required permits and make reservations. Showing up without a permit or pre-arranged reservations may force you to unexpectedly change your plans.

Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! Be water-wise and drink 1/2 - 1 liter of water per hour spent outside. Remember, Arizona’s temperatures can rise quickly - please plan accordingly for you, your family and your pets.

Arizona is made up of more than 25% tribal lands. Make sure you understand community rules and associated permitting regulations before you go. A tribal guide may be required.

Always let someone know in advance where you are going and be prepared with a good old-fashioned printed map, as our wide-open spaces may mean limited cell phone service.

No. 2 Stick to Trails

Stick to the trails to protect plants, animals and yourself.

Park only in designated areas to avoid damaging vegetation. Have a parking or trail back-up plan.

Don't let your next selfie be your last selfie. Stay within designated trail boundaries and distance yourself from cliff edges.

Camp only on existing or designated campsites.

No. 3 Trash Your Trash

Pack it in. Pack it out. This applies to all trash and waste - human or pet.

Pack out your cores, peels and seeds. Even organic trash can change the ecosystem.

Keep waterways clean from food, trash, soap and waste.

Burning trash adds toxins to your camp. Pack out all trash.

Trash your trash. Overflowing bins are a danger to wildlife.

No. 4 Leave What You Find

Take the picture, but make sure a memory is the only thing you leave with.

Be respectful of your surroundings. Leave it as you found it.

Protect Arizona's natural formations, petroglyphs and ancient artifacts by viewing, not touching.

Respect the cacti. They've been here longer.

Little girl exploring dinosaur tracks
Family at a campfire at night at Lake Powell

No. 5 Be Careful With Fire

Vehicles dragging chains can cause wildfires. Pull them up!

Build a safe campfire. Keep it small and in designated fire pits.

Never let a campfire burn unattended. When done fully extinguish your fire by using enough water to make your ashes are cool to the touch.

Be mindful of current fire restrictions including no burn days.

Arizona's hot, dry climate is perfect to catch a blaze. Properly extinguish and safely discard your cigarettes.

Be aware of where you park your car. Avoid parking in dry brush. Hot engine parts can ignite a fire.

No. 6 Respect Wildlife

Arizona loves you, but javelinas and other wildlife may not. Keep a safe distance.

Respect desert creatures as they may be venomous, such as scorpions, snakes and gila monsters.

Don't supply the bear buffet. Keep your snacks to yourself. Secure your food and pack out all your trash.

Protect your pet from desert wildlife by keeping them on a leash (or under control) at all times.

Kayakers on a river with a wild horse in the background
Hiker at Canyon de Chelly

No. 7 Share the Outdoors

Respect others and their cultural differences, our outdoors are for everyone to enjoy.

Take time to learn about the ancient homes of indigenous people that live in Arizona.

Share the trail. Yield for horses, faster traffic and those coming uphill.

Let nature be your background music. But if listening to music is your thing, use headphones to be considerate of the people you pass on the trail or camping next door.

Let everyone enjoy Arizona's dark skies. Minimize your light and utilize the moonlight.


Leave No Trace

Get Involved

Interested in more training options? Visit the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics to find courses and get involved.

Learn More