• Rainbow over Half Dome

    Yosemite

    National Park California

There are park alerts in effect.
hide Alerts »
  • Road Closures Due to El Portal Fire

    The Big Oak Flat Road between Crane Flat and the El Portal Road is temporarily closed. There is no access to Yosemite Valley via the Big Oak Flat Road or Highway 120. Tioga Road is open and accessible via Big Oak Flat and Tioga Pass Entrances. More »

  • Campground Closures Due to Fire

    Crane Flat, Bridalveil Creek, and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds are temporarily closed. More »

  • Yosemite National Park is Open

    Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, and Wawona/Mariposa Grove areas are open and accessible via Highways 140 and 41. Tioga Road is not accessible via Highways 140 and 41 due to a fire.

Leave No Trace Principles for Stock

Plan Ahead and Prepare

  • Know the regulations and special concerns of Yosemite for stock users.
  • Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
  • Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
  • Visit in small groups with the minimum number of animals necessary. Split larger parties into smaller groups.
  • Repackage food to minimize waste.
  • Take only what equipment you need, to reduce the number of animals needed.
  • Take only animals that are fit, calm, and experienced.
  • Practice at home the techniques to be used in Wilderness before heading out.
  • Have prior experience with backpackers, llamas, and other odd-looking Wilderness users.

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

  • Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
  • Obey camping setbacks from lakes, streams, trails, other campsites, and historic and cultural sites and structures.
  • Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
  • Tie stock so they cannot chew on tree bark or eat the leaves of woody vegetation. A hitch line between trees is recommended. Wrap trees under rope to protect bark.
  • Fill in all holes and return all trampled areas to their natural state.
  • Do not tie stock to trees, except for rest or loading and unloading.
  • Do not picket stock in wet meadows.
  • In popular areas:
    • Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
    • Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
    • Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.

  • In pristine areas:
    • Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
    • Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.

Dispose of Waste Properly

  • Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food, and litter.
  • Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug six inches deep at least 100 feet from water, camp, and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
  • Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
  • To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 100 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
  • Rake or scatter manure at all rest stops and when breaking camp.

Leave What You Find

  • Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch, cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
  • Leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects as you find them.
  • Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
  • Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.

Minimize Campfire Impacts

  • Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Instead, consider using a lightweight stove for cooking and a candle lantern for light.
  • Use established fire rings or fire pans.
  • Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
  • Burn all wood and coals to ash and put out campfires completely.

Respect Wildlife

  • Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
  • Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
  • Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations, grain, and trash in allowed bear-resistant panniers.
  • Leave pets at home.
  • Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.

Be Considerate of Other Visitors

  • Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
  • Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
  • Some backcountry users are unfamiliar with stock. When exercising the general rule of livestock right-of-way over hikers, the hiker should politely be asked to step off the trail on the uphill side in plain view and remain quiet until stock has passed.
  • Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
  • Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.


The above information is adapted from the Leave No Trace: Center for Outdoor Ethics. Visit their website for more detailed information on the seven principles of Leave No Trace and suggestions you can use to help plan a trip to wilderness.

Did You Know?

ARC Students journaling near Hetch Hetchy

Adventure Risk Challenge (ARC) brings youth to Yosemite National Park each summer for a dynamic literacy and leadership immersion program. ARC works with students, boosting academic and leadership skills through a variety of programs, including a 40 day experience in Yosemite full of adventure and intensive learning.