Preserve the Beauty that brought you here
What We Do
Show you care.
Leave no trace.
Our mission is to help trail and backcountry users understand how they can be good outdoor stewards and we do it by being friendly and respectful.
Leave No Trace (LNT) is a set of guiding principles for behavior in the outdoors. These principles minimize human impacts on the natural world. Abiding by the principles of Leave No Trace will preserve the land in its untarnished state for future generations to enjoy. Below, we’ve customized the seven principles of LNT for our little corner of Colorado.
Poor planning often results in unhappy campers driving around for hours searching for an open campsite, which sometimes results in illegal camping. This can lead to resource damage, a possible ticket and fine, and a huge bummer for your trip. As more camping areas around Crested Butte switch to designated camping, planning ahead will become essential.
This is especially important if you are not camping at an established campsite! Vehicles should always be kept to designated routes, and tents should only be placed in areas where they will not damage vegetation. If there are rock barriers, fences, and signs, please understand that they were placed for a reason, and do not go around them. Manage your campsite to avoid any unnecessary impacts to the landscape and always camp a minimum of 100 feet from any water source.
This includes the waste that comes from you! And yes, we mean poop. The presence of human waste has become a huge issue in many of the camping areas around Crested Butte. Frankly, it is disgusting, and it also has created health risks to people using the rivers for recreation. Please, if you do not like finding poop in your camping area then do not leave any for the next person to find. We ask that you dispose of human waste AND TOILET PAPER in one of three ways:
- Use a vault toilet – If there is an established toilet near where you are camping, please make a point to use it. This is the most sanitary and easy way to dispose human waste.
- Use a self-contained toilet or bag system – If your RV or trailer has a toilet, use it! If you are tent or van camping, we ask you bring a bag system with you. These bags are easy to use and contain the chemicals that neutralize odor and turn solids into gels for easier transportation. Most importantly, these bags allow you to pack out your waste, and this is the preferred method over digging a cat hole. Bring your own Wag Bag or purchase one at an outdoor retailer in Crested Butte or Gunnison.
- Dig a cat hole – The last resort! If you find yourself far from a toilet and without a wag bag, please bury your poo in a hole that is at least 6-8 inches deep. This means planning ahead and bringing a shovel or heavy duty trowel. The ground around here can be pretty rocky!
Along with human waste, please be sure to pack out everything you brought with you. This includes all trash, food waste, and dog waste. Please refrain from burning trash.
Please leave any natural or cultural objects where you found them. Do not carve anything on trees and please do not alter any campsite amenities.
Wildfires pose a serious threat to the forests surrounding Gunnison-Crested Butte, so be aware of any fire restrictions that are in place. When at a designated site use the permanent metal fire rings, and if dispersed camping use established rock rings instead of making a new one. Keep fires small and have ample water nearby to put out any escaped flames. Never leave a campfire unattended, and make sure the coals are cold to the touch before leaving the area. Buy firewood locally and avoid harvesting firewood from your camping area.
Crested Butte is home to lots of creatures, including black bears who would love to eat your snacks, and can smell them from far away. It is important that you store all food securely never leave any food or trash unattended or out in the open. Birds and chipmunks swoop in quickly to grab your snacks and trash, too. Campers should consider storing food in bear-proof canisters, as bears have broken into several cars in the past to get to food. Never feed any wildlife, no matter how cute it is!
Most people go camping to relax in the peace and quiet of the Great Outdoors. Generators, car alarms, and obnoxious drunks really ruin the experience. No matter how cool you think your music is, other people probably don’t want to hear it. Respect the land, respect your neighbors, and leave your site clean for the next person. Respect that if a site is taken, then no, you probably cannot squeeze in there, too.