Leave No Trace | Visit Sedona

Leave No Trace

We know you love Sedona just as much as we do. So, we ask that you join us in preserving her natural beauty and special qualities by embracing the 7 guiding principles of Leave No Trace.

We have partnered with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics to help you interact with Sedona responsibly and respectfully. Whether you are a hiker, mountain biker, camper, or a seeker of serenity or adventure, you will add extra satisfaction to your Sedona journey by your informed and caring interaction with our environment – and leaving no trace! 


The Sedona Leave No Trace Principles

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare 

Visitors travel from near and far to explore Sedona’s unique landscape. This means that parking at some of our most popular destinations fill up fast. Avoid the crowds and prevent further impacts by visiting during off times (summer and winter).  

Carry a map or GPS and know how to use them. Keep your group safe by selecting an outing that matches your group’s abilities. Weather in Sedona can change quickly, always be prepared for inclement weather and have a plan in case of emergencies. 

2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

Walk and ride on existing trails or durable surfaces to protect trailside plants. Durable surfaces include maintained trails, designated campsites, rock, gravel, sand or snow. Camp 200 feet from water sources to allow wildlife access to these areas. Camping is not allowed within Sedona’s city limits.

3. Dispose of Waste Properly

Pack out all your trash including food scraps. Even items such as apple cores and orange peels can take up to two years to decompose and serve as an unhealthy food source for wildlife. Carry bags to pack out waste and litter. 

Proper disposal of human waste helps avoid pollution of water sources, the implications of other visitors finding it and the transmission of disease. In most locations, burying human waste in a cathole, 6-8 inches deep, is the most effective method to meet these criteria. In some areas, such as narrow river canyons, human waste must be packed out.

4. Minimize Campfire Impacts

Always check fire restrictions before having a fire. Consider lightweight camping stoves for cooking. They are safer, require no wood and are a lot faster. If fires are allowed, use an existing fire ring, keep fires small and when done dowse them with water until they are completely out.

5. Leave What You Find

Avoid marking trails or create cairns (rock stacks). In Sedona, these rock stacks are used for keeping visitors on the trail and building them could cause other visitors to become lost. Do not disturb historic or prehistoric structures and artifacts. Leave natural objects such as antlers, bones or interesting rocks for others to enjoy. Items such as antlers and bones can serve nutrient sources for rodents and other critters. Do not cut or carve into live plants and trees. Carving or cutting plants and trees can expose them to disease causing them to die. 

6. Respect Wildlife

Observe wild animals from a distance. Do not touch, approach or follow them. Never feed wildlife as this damages their health and alters their natural behaviors. Leash your pets or leave them at home.

7. Be Considerate of Others

Hikers should yield to other hikers coming uphill and bikers should yield to all hikers. All users yield to equestrians. Allow others to pass by taking breaks off the trail. Remember everyone enjoys the outdoors in different ways! Respect other visitors and be mindful of their experience.

Now that you are familiar with the Leave No Trace Principles, make your promise by taking the Sedona Cares Pledge.

© Leave No Trace: www.LNT.org