Sedona has something to offer everyone who likes to get outside. From casual campers to the adrenaline junkies, there are nearly unlimited places to explore and play. This is no exception for off-roaders. There are miles of off-roading trails throughout the area, the hard part is choosing where to go.
But as off-roading grows in popularity and machines like ATVs and UTVs are more prevalent on these trails, it’s important to remember how to tread lightly and why it’s important to stay on the trail, follow signs, be respectful of others, and leave these trails better than you found them.
Together with Tread Lightly! and local OHV outfitters, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce have created the Red Rock OHV Conservation Crew to address local issues effecting Sedona’s OHV trails and community.
Tread Lightly! is more than just a phrase, it’s a national nonprofit that educates outdoor enthusiasts about how to minimize their impact outdoors and hosts public land stewardship projects to improve trails, parks and forests.
Overuse, abuse and damage lead to trail closures. No matter what kind of outdoor activities you enjoy, there is the potential to impact the land and resources negatively. To help maintain access and keep public lands healthy and beautiful, outdoor recreationists need to approach their favorite trails with a sense of respect and responsibility. Remember, access is not a given so it’s on all trail users to work together to keep these places open.
Respect for public land comes in many different forms. Not only should you take care of the resources you recreate on, but also be conscientious and courteous to those who are sharing the trail, the people living in communities near trailheads and the land managers who maintain public lands.
So, what are some ways you can be respectful when riding an off-road vehicle? Firstly, leave the area better than you found it. Bring a trash bag on the trail to help pack out any trash you might find. Stay on designated trails and go over obstacles, not around, to avoid widening the trails—off-road doesn’t mean off trail.
Not only should you respect the land you’re on, but the people you may encounter. Keep the noise, speed, and dust down in residential areas. If crossing private property, always get permission from landowners and leave gates as you found them. Be conscientious of noise in other populous areas like campsites. Always yield to those passing you or going uphill and be courteous to other trail users and land managers.
We all have a shared stake and responsibility in taking care of our public lands for current and future generations to use and enjoy. If every person who enjoys the outdoors commits to doing their part and giving back to the land they use, it could make a big difference. By following the T.R.E.A.D. principles, trail users can protect treasured trails and public lands:
- Travel responsibly
- Respect the rights of others
- Educate yourself
- Avoid sensitive areas
- Do your part