It is so good to take part in a vibrant off-roading community. We regularly take our rigs out to enjoy the amazing trail rides that southern Utah has to offer.
As part of being responsible off-roaders, we like reminding fellow enthusiasts to do their best to minimize their impact on the great outdoors. After all, you take great care to ensure your ride is fitted with the best mods and upgrades, why not also put some effort to make sure this incredible land around us is preserved for future generations?
That’s what the Tread Lightly mantra is all about.
T- Travel Responsibly
R- Respect the Rights of Others
E- Educate Yourself
A- Avoid Sensitive Areas
D- Do Your Part
Here are some great tips to help you tread lightly:
- Travel only on designated routes including crossing streams only at designated fording points. Even though your vehicle is capable to make it through whatever you want, we have to consider the fact that these areas can be brittle areas that take years to look like a natural area again. Stick to the trail.
- If you have to cross a soft or muddy area, maintain a slow, steady pace to avoid spinning your wheels. Digging big rutts and treating up the trail for the next crew can cause issues and others to get stuck where they shouldn’t be.
- Maintain a reasonable distance between vehicles on the trail and always travel in a group of two or more vehicles. Nobody wants to have to exchange insurance details or have a discussion about who’s bumper handled the impact better. Lets keep vehicles dent free as possible.
Respect the Rights of Others On The Trail
- Never cross private land without the owner’s permission. Simple as that, avoid breaking laws when you are off roading so we can all go on and enjoy this sport without any land access issues.
- Always leave gates as you find them –open or closed. Don’t surprise anyone by locking them into an area. Leave no signs you were there other then some tracks.
- Yield the right of way to hikers and those traveling on mountain bikes, horseback or those passing you going uphill. It’s common etiquette that we all would appreciate show to us. We don’t want to put anyone in harms way if they are not going to be prepared for us passing them on the trail.
- Minimize noise by keeping your vehicle tuned and not revving unnecessarily especially in camping or residential areas or at night. Revv it out when you are out on the trail with your crew far from camp.
Educate Yourself On Off-Road Etiquette
- Have an idea of where you’re going by obtaining a travel map of the area where you’re planning to ride. There are many services for GPS maps and digital trail maps so you know where you are at all times.
- Contact public agencies or the land bureau to familiarize yourself with regulations governing off-roading in the area you want to visit. They will appreciate giving you detail before rather then giving you trouble on the trail you shouldn’t have been on.
- Know the expected weather before you leave so you’re not caught unawares when the weather changes. Pack emergency items just in case. We always have gear to last us some time stuck out on the trail for the night. Be prepared.
- Enroll in an off-road training course to learn how to properly handle a 4WD vehicle. There are classes in common off road areas and from some high quality off roading shops.
- Always buckle up! Make sure you can ride off road for years to come!
Avoid Sensitive Off Road Areas
- Steer clear of sensitive areas like wetlands, meadows, lake shores or designated wilderness areas. We are here to enjoy the outdoors like everyone else out there and we need to treat it with respect so we have land access into the future.
- Keep out of archeological, paleontological or historical sites. They are great to visit from proper roads and trailheads.
- Avoid driving through sensitive habitats including seasonal nesting or breeding areas, living desert soils or tundra. Such ecosystems are fragile and off-roading through them might cause irreparable damage.
- Keep your distance from any wildlife or livestock you encounter to avoid spooking them. Scaring off them will only lead to farmers being upset or others not getting the chance to see the wildlife.
Do Your Part To Maintain Trails
- Be a model of appropriate behavior and trail etiquette. Speak up and let your crew know where you stand and the unspoken rules you found here.
- Observe sanitary waste disposal, pack waste out and clean up after yourself. Always pick up trash you find along the trail and aim to leave an area better than you found it. We will all appreciate finding less trash out on the trail.
- Wash off your vehicle before and after an off-roading trip to avoid the spread of invasive species and help maintain the paint job and working parts.
If we all play our part and practice Treading Lightly, these incredible off roading trails will remain open for everyone to enjoy for years to come.