Death Valley National Park
and its resources belong to
everyone, and we all must
share the responsibility of
protecting this land.
Please remember the following
regulations during your stay:
- Collecting or disturbing any animal, plant, rock
or any other natural, historical or archeological
feature is prohibited.
- All vehicles must remain on established roads. This
includes motorcycles, bicycles, and four-wheel drive
vehicles. All motorized vehicles and their drivers
must be properly licensed. Vehicles with off-road
registration "green stickers" may not be
operated in the park.
- Hunting and use of firearms in the park is illegal.
Firearms may be transported through the park only
if they are unloaded and cased.
- Campfires are allowed in firepits provided in developed
campgrounds. They are prohibited elsewhere in the
park. Gathering wood is unlawful.
- Do not feed or disturb wildlife, including coyotes,
roadrunners and ravens. When wild animals are fed
by humans, they tend to depend upon this "unnatural
food source" rather than forage for their natural
- Keep pets confined or leashed. Pets must be kept
on a leash (no longer than 6 feet) at all times. Pets
are allowed only in developed areas and along paved
or dirt roads.
- Camping is limited to developed campgrounds and
some backcountry areas. For more details on backcountry
camping and to obtain a free permit, stop at the Furnace
Creek Visitor Center or any ranger station.
Wilderness Ethics The
Leave No Trace Principles
Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the
area you'll visit.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
- Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
- Visit in small groups. Split larger parties into
groups of 4-6.
- Repackage food to minimize waste.
- Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking
paint, rock cairns or flagging.
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Durable surfaces include established trails and
campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
- Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet
from lakes and streams.
- Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site
is not necessary.
- In popular areas:
- Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
- Walk single file in the middle of the trail,
even when wet or muddy.
- Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas
where vegetation is absent.
- In pristine areas:
- Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites
- Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
Dispose of Waste Properly
- Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and
rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all
trash, leftover food, and litter.
- Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8
inches deep at least 200 feet from water, camp, and
trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
- Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200
feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts
of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
Leave What You Find
- Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch, cultural
or historic structures and artifacts.
- Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as
you find them.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
- Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry.
Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle
lantern for light.
- Where fires are permitted, use established fire
rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
- Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground
that can be broken by hand.
- Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires
completely, then scatter cool ashes.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow
or approach them.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their
health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them
to predators and other dangers.
- Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations
and trash securely.
- Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting,
raising young, or winter.
Be Considerate of Other Visitors
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of
- Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
- Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering
- Take breaks and camp away from trails and other
- Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and
The more popular wilderness use becomes, the more
important wilderness ethics are!