Leave No Trace is a national program that promotes the protection of our nation’s wildlands through education, research, and partnerships. Leave No Trace teaches minimum impact hiking and camping skills and wildland ethics and builds awareness, appreciation, and respect for our public recreation places. The four federal land management agencies—the National Park Service, the US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service—all promote the Leave No Trace message. Working with outdoor retailers, educators, and user groups these federal agencies are helping to make Leave No Trace the common language for all outdoor enthusiasts.
With increasing visitor use, both day and overnight, it is important to minimize our impacts and Leave No Trace of our visits to wilderness, parks and other special places. Trips that include awareness and the use of minimum impact practices conserve natural conditions of the outdoors which make the adventure enjoyable and allows others the same experience.
Leave No Trace is simple—at its heart it is a set of seven principles which can be applied in any natural setting to minimize human impacts on the environment. Following the Leave No Trace principles and combining them with your personal judgment, awareness, and experience will help protect precious park natural and cultural resources and preserve the park experience for you and for future visitors.
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Minimize campfire impact
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of other visitors
While in the backcountry of Carlsbad Caverns National Park, please observe these Leave No Trace priciples:
- Stay on established trails—short-cutting and cliff-climbing is dangerous and causes erosion.
- Human waste should be deposited (not buried) at least 300 feet from any cave, trail, or water source.
- Pack out all trash—your own and any you find, including toilet paper.
- Camp at least 300 feet away from any cave entrance, road, trail, or water source. Be sure you are out of sight and sound of these areas, as well.
- Campfires are not permitted within the park boundaries. Use a containerized fuel stove instead.
- There are no vehicle or RV camping areas in the park. Overnight parking and/or camping is not permitted in any parking lot or other developed area.
- Do not clear soil or vegetation, or dig trenches around tents.
- Pets are not permitted on park trails or in the backcountry.
- Have an up-to-date trail guide or map with topographic lines. For USGS maps, visit http://mapping.usgs.gov or 1-800-USA-MAPS.
Please learn and practice Leave No Trace skills and ethics and pass them on to those you come in contact with. It’s easy to enjoy and protect the park at the same time!
For more information, visit www.lnt.org.