Backcountry Use Concerns and Regulations
Your cooperation in observing these regulations will assure these unique resources will be preserved for your further enjoyment, and the enjoyment of future generations.
A PDF of these backcountry regulations can be downloaded and printed.
Backpacking and Day Hiking:
Camping with a Vehicle:
- A free backcountry permit, available at the visitor center, is required for all overnight trips.
- Purify all water before drinking. Do not pollute water sources with soap, food scraps, sunscreen, lotion, etc. Do not swim or bathe in potholes or tanks.
- When possible, hike on existing roads and trails. In other areas, walk on slickrock, in washes, and on animal trails. Avoid walking on biological soil crusts.
- Do not disturb or deface natural features, historic sites, or archaeological sites.
- Collecting items of any kind is prohibited.
- Pack out all trash including food scraps, cigarette butts, and toilet paper. Burning or burying toilet paper is prohibited.
- Bury human waste 6 inches (15 cm) deep in soil and at least 300 feet (92 m) away from any water sources, and out of washes.
- Pets are not permitted on trails or in the backcountry, and may not be left unattended.
- Gathering firewood and building fires is prohibited; use fuel burning stoves in the backcountry.
- Camp at least 1/2 mile (0.8 km) from roads and trailheads. Camp out of sight and sound of the trail and other campers. Camp 300 feet (92 m) away from any water source, archaeological/historic sites, and trail junctions.
- Parties camping overnight in the backcountry must not number more than 12 persons.
- Backcountry camping is limited to 3 nights in a particular location, 14 days per trip, and 30 days annually.
All vehicles must stay on designated roads. Vehicles and drivers must be state licensed.
- Vehicle camping is restricted to designated sites within Cedar Mesa campground or Cathedral campground.
- Fires are permitted at established campgrounds, but must be contained within designated receptacles in each site. Wood gathering is prohibited within the park. Wood may be purchased at the Gifford House or at local stores during the summer season.
- Read and follow posted guidelines in the campgrounds.
- Pets must be leashed at all times.
All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and Utility-Terrain Vehicles (UTVs):
The use of ATVs and UTVs is not permitted in the park.
Bicycles (considered vehicles) are restricted to roadways and are not permitted on any trail or anywhere off-road.
The use of any weapon, trap, or net is prohibited in all national park sites. Carrying of firearms must comply with state law. Firearms are prohibited inside all federal facilities, such as the visitor center.