Minimum Impact Biking Practices
- Ride only on open roads and trails – Riding cross-country, taking shortcuts, and play riding around campsites damages plants and soils. Don’t be a trail pioneer by leaving a poorly chosen path for others to follow. Help land managers keep areas open to biking by staying on established routes.
- Learn to recognize and preserve cryptobiotic soilcrust – This delicate, often black, crusty-looking, complex of soil and slowly growing algae, mosses, bacteria, and lichens retains water, reduces erosion , and provides a stable base from which higher plants can flourish. It takes many years for cryptobiotic soil crust to recover from the ruts created by one bike. If you don’t know what it looks like, ask someone to point it out.
- Avoid skidding your tires – Locking your wheels needlessly damages trails and leaves ugly tire marks on slickrock. Stay in control by “feathering your brakes.”
- Avoid clay-like surfaces and stay on rocky, slickrock, and sandy areas when it’s wet – Soils with high clay content turn to slippery, chain-clogging mud when wet. Riding through these areas under wet conditions leaves deep ruts that accelerate trail erosion.
- Refrain from riding through and camping in riparian areas – Riparian areas, the communities of water-loving plants along streams, are precious to wildlife. Wildlife concentrate in these areas and can be displaced by recreational use.
- Protect water sources – Washing mud off bikes and bathing can introduce lubrication, soaps, and oils from sunscreen into water sources critical for the survival of small animals.
Source – Moab Information Center and Moab & Green River Visitor Information
Leave No Trace
Leave No Trace is a national and international program that strives to educate all who enjoy the outdoors about the nature of their recreational impacts as well as techniques to prevent and minimize such impacts. Leave No Trace is best understood as an educational and ethical program, not as a set of rules and regulations.
- Plan Ahead and Prepare – Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you’ll visit. Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies. Repackage food to minimize waste.
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces -In popular areas, concentrate use on existing trails and campsites and walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy. In pristine areas, disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
- Dispose of Waste Properly – Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your 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. If washing, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap.
- 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. 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.
- Respect Wildlife – 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. Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors – Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience. Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail. Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock. Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises