Help Take Care of the Park page 2

The visitor behaving respectfully is circled in blue. Behaviors that can harm the park are marked with a red "X".

A line drawing of 7 people hiking in the desert. 6 of them are covered with a red X: 1 doing graffiti, 1 walking off trail, one chasing a lizard, 1 walking a dog, 1 littering, and 1 biking. The 7th person is circled in blue. She is staying on the trail.

Helpful Visitor (marked with a blue circle):

The girl hiking on the trail is enjoying the park in a helpful way. Trails allow access to park areas while protecting the things people come to enjoy, like plants and animals' homes.

Unhelpful Visitors (marked with red Xs):

The boy carving on the rocks is damaging the park. If every visitor left one initial, the rock would soon be covered by millions of marks. Is that how you want to see it?

The girl walking off the trail is damaging the biological soil crust. Crust covers much of the desert and is important for plants to live. Each footprint could take hundreds of years to recover. We can protect this living crust by staying on trails.

The boy chasing the lizard might not realize it, but he is harming the lizard. When a lizard is trying to get away from predators (even a little kid is a giant to a lizard), it might disconnect its tail. Losing its tail often distracts the predator, helping the lizard to escape, but safety comes at a high price. Unfortunately, the tail is where a lizard keeps its food reserves, so it may not live long enough to grow it back.

The person riding the bicycle on the trail is breaking park rules. They could hit someone walking on the trail or damage nearby plants, as well. Bicycles are allowed only on the roads in Arches National Park.

The visitor throwing the apple core on the ground is littering. To keep the park clean, we should pack out everything we bring in, including food scraps. (In dry places, food scraps take decades or longer to biodegrade.)

At Arches National Park, pets are not allowed on the trails. Dogs can frighten animals and even injure or kill them. They can also pass along diseases that can affect wild animals. The park is here to protect native animals. Respectful dog owners care for the park by having their pets only where they are allowed.

Try another activity.

Last updated: June 11, 2021

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PO Box 907
Moab, UT 84532


(435) 719-2299

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