Recreate Responsibly

National parks across the country provide endless opportunities for recreational activities for everyone from the casual sightseer to the experienced adventurer. With your help, we can enjoy these special places while preserving them for future generations to enjoy.

Protecting You: More than 300 million people visit national parks each year, as well as the communities living in or around them.

Protecting Us: Tens of thousands of NPS employees, plus volunteers, partners, and others, provide services for the safety and enjoyment of parks, including emergency assistance, facilities such as restrooms and visitor centers, transportation, and sales.

Protecting America’s Treasures: National parks are home to some of the nation’s most treasured and irreplaceable resources, including wildlife, scenery, and historic places.

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2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Learn about the National Park Service response to the coronavirus outbreak.

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Trip Planning Guide

Heading to a park? Get planning and safety tips to make your trip a fun, safe adventure.

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Find suggestions on how to enjoy the great outdoors in national parks, including tips and trip ideas.

Tips to Recreate Responsibly in National Parks

Whether seeking wide-open spaces or exploring a historic urban neighborhood, remember to #RecreateResponsibly! We encourage you to follow the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and follow Leave No Trace principles when you visit.

  • Know before you go. Visit for current park conditions and availability of restrooms and other facilities. Make a plan, follow the 10 Essentials, and if you are sick, stay home.

  • Keep it close. Follow the state, tribal, and local orders for where you're traveling. The NPS is working closely with public health professionals to make operational changes and adapt to changing conditions.

  • Keep your distance. Follow the CDC’s social distancing guidelines and stay at least six feet away from other people. Wear a mask when you are near others—and always inside park buildings.

  • Know your limits. Consider postponing challenging hikes or trying new activities while first responders, parks, and communities continue to concentrate on responding to the pandemic.

  • Keep it with you. If you brought it, take it with you. Trash pickup and restroom facilities will continue to be limited in many park areas.

  • Keep it inclusive. Be an active part of making our nation’s parks and public lands safe and welcoming for all identities and abilities.

Social Media (#RecreateResponsibly)

Stay connected with parks, programs, and partners on social media for up-to-date safety guidance and tips on how to #RecreateResponsibly. Do your part on social media! Use #RecreateResponsibly in your posts to show us how you enjoy public lands in a safe and responsible way and can inspire others to practice these principles.

Resources to Help You Recreate Responsibly

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    Last updated: October 27, 2021