Backcountry Trip Planner
Backcountry Trip Planner -- The most important publication for anyone planning to camp in the backcountry --. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
Yellowstone National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Backcountry Trip Planner © TOM MURPHY Backcountry Permits A Backcountry Use Permit is required for all overnight trips in the backcountry. The permit is valid only for the dates, locations, and party size specified. Permits are not required for day hiking; however, day hikers must observe all backcountry regulations. All Backcountry Use Permits must be obtained in person and not more than two days in advance of your departure. Visitors obtaining a backcountry permit with trips dates between Memorial Day and September 10 will pay a per-person, pernight permit fee. Backcountry permit fees apply for group members that are 9 years or older. The fee for backpackers/ boaters is $3 per-person per-night. The group per night fee is capped at $15 dollars per night. The fee for stock parties (horses/mules/llamas)is $5 per-person per night. There is no cap on the group per night fee. Backcountry permit fees are separate from the $25 fee paid to make an advance reservation and will be collected at the backcountry office when you pick up your permit. Each campsite has restrictions on group size, stock use, boating access, wood fires, and length of stay. (Campsite restrictions are listed on pages 6–11.) The maximum number of nights one can remain at a single site is three unless other wise indicated. With the exception of four campsites, we allow only one party at each campsite. If your party size exceeds the campsite limit, you will need to obtain a second permit and be prepared to cook and sleep as separate groups. Advance Reservations B a c kc o u n t r y c a m p s it e s m a y b e reserved in advance. The reservation fee for each trip is $25 regardless of the number of nights or number of people in a single trip. Groups that exceed the maximum number of people allowed at a campsite must split into multiple groups and submit a reservation request for each group. A trip is defined as a contiguous itinerary that enters and then exits the backcountry at a trailhead or developed area. An itinerary that requires vehicular transportation between trailheads during the trip would constitute another trip and require an additional reservation and/or permit. Application Procedures Reservation requests must be submitted on the Trip Planning Worksheet (enclosed). Additional worksheets are available by mail from the Central Backcountry Office or on the park website at www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/backcountrytripplanner.htm. A non-refundable processing fee of $25 must be submitted with each application and can be made with check, money order, or credit card. The fee is for obtaining a reservation, not for taking a trip, and will be deposited only upon confirmation of a reservation. Once the reservation has been made the fee is no longer refundable even if the trip is canceled. Requests for reser vations will be accepted by mail, in person, or by fax with a credit card number. We cannot accept applications over the phone, or e-mail. Reservation applications may be submitted anytime after January 1; however, to ensure that your application arrives during a time when the Central Backcountry Office is staffed we recommend waiting until March 1 to submit your application. We begin processing reservation requests on April 1. All applications received on or before April 1 will be processed in random order. Applications received after April 1 will be processed in the order they are received. Successful applicants will receive a confirmation letter by email. This confirmation notice is then exchanged for the actual Backcountry Use Permit, which must be obtained in person at a Backcountry Permit Office in the park, not more than two days before the first camping date. Reservations are held only until 10 am on the day of your trip. If you are delayed, you may hold your reservation by calling the phone number shown on the confirmation notice. Reservations that have not been confirmed or exchanged for backcountry permits will be canceled and the campsites made available for other parties. Only a portion of backcountry campsites will be reserved in advance. We leave some sites open in each area each night for people without reservations. Consequently, if you can be flexible in your choice of campsites, you may decide to wait until you arrive in the park to reserve your site(s) and obtain your permit. We strongly encourage you to develop a second itinerary that may explore some less popular areas, in the event your first Undesignated and Winter Camping Where to Get Your Permit For the best information on trail conditions, obtain your permits from the ranger station or visitor center closest to where your trip begins. From June through August, Backcountry Use Permits are generally available 7 days a week between 8 am and 4:30 pm (some stations close for lunch) at the following locations: • Bechler Ranger Station • Mammoth Visitor Center • Tower Ranger Station • Grant Village Backcountry Office • Bridge Bay Ranger Station choice is not available. If you are camping with stock or requesting sites in one of our more popular areas such as Slough Creek or Yellowstone and Shoshone lakes, your chances of getting your first choices are best if you submit your request by April 1. Please submit only one request per party per trip. Duplicate applications slow down the reservation process and may result in duplicate charges, overlapping itineraries, and unused campsites. Please do not submit requests for campsites with an opening date prior to those specified in the site limitations on pages 6–11 and on the Trip Planning Worksheet. The opening dates represent the average date that a campsite becomes accessible due to a decrease in snow pack, flooding, or dangerous stream crossings. If the campsite opens earlier than these dates it is then made available for both walk-in permits and reservations. In some years campsites may not open by the dates that you have reserved. Additionally, we occasionally have to close campsites due to bear activity or wildfire. In these instances, reserved itineraries will be modified to the best of our ability when you pick up your permit. If your plans change and you cannot use any, or part, of your backcountry use permit or reservation, you are encouraged to call (307) 344-2160 to cancel your trip. A refund will not be provided, but you will allow other campers access to those sites. • Canyon Ranger Station/Visitor Center • Old Faithful Ranger Station • South Entrance Ranger Station • West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center Permits for boating trips must be obtained at Bridge Bay, Grant Village, or South Entrance backcountry offices. During the spring, fall, and winter, ranger station and visitor center hours may vary. To obtain a Backcountry Use Permit during these seasons, call (307) 344-2160 or (307) 344-7381. Camping in undesignated sites is occasionally allowed under certain circumstances and with special approval on a caseby-case basis. Stringent policies govern this privilege, and adherence to Leave No Trace skills and ethics is required. Camping in designated campsites is not required during the winter season. For more information about camping in undesignated sites and/or for a booklet about winter camping, contact the Central Backcountry Office at (307) 344-2160 or e-mail us at YELL_Backcountry_Office@nps.gov. Hiking in Bear Country Yellowstone Bear Management Areas Eliminating human entry and disturbance in specific areas can prevent human–bear conflicts and provide areas where bears can pursue natural behavioral patterns and other social activities. Types of restrictions include area and trail closures, no off-trail travel, a recommended party size of four or more people, and travel limited to established trails or daylight hours. Check the campsite listings on pages 6–7 for restrictions that may apply to individual campsites. To reduce human related impacts on bears in high density grizzly bear habitat, we have established the following areas (see map, page 3) and restrictions. A Those who have packed far up into grizzly country know that the presence of even one grizzly on the land elevates the mountains, deepens the canyons, chills the winds, brightens the stars, darkens the forest, and quickens the pulse of all who enter it. They know that when a bear dies, something sacred in every living thing interconnected with that realm...also dies. —John Murray Firehole: Area (including Firehole Freight Road and Firehole Lake Road) is closed March 10 through the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. The Mary Mountain Trail from the Nez Perce trailhead to Mary Lake is closed March 10 through June 15. Through travel from the Canyon trailhead is not allowed; however, travel is allowed from the Canyon trailhead to Mary Lake and back. Streamside use is allowed from the point where Nez Perce Creek crosses the main road to a point one mile upstream along Nez Perce Creek. Richard’s Pond: Area is closed March 10 through the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. From the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through September 30, Duck Creek, from the park boundary upstream to the Campanula Creek/Richard’s Creek fork, is open to streamside travel. The area upstream from Campanula Creek/Richard’s Creek fork is closed from March 10 through September 30. Gneiss Creek: Area is closed March 10 through June 30. From July 1 through November 10, travel is allowed only on designated trails (off-trail travel is prohibited). Gallatin: From May 1 through November 10, travel is allowed only on designated trails (off-trail travel is prohibited). A minimum group size of four or more is recommended for hiking and camping. Blacktail: Area is closed March 10 through June 30. B C D E F G Washburn: Area is closed August 1 through November 10. From March 10 through July 31, the area is open by special permit only. Contact the Tower Ranger Station for permit information. Antelope: Area is closed March 10 through November 10. The Dunraven Road and related turnouts are open. From May Backpacking and Bears To learn more about bears, read one of the numerous books that are available at visitor centers in the park or from the Yellowstone Association. It is quite reasonable to fear bears, but be aware that many bear stories are greatly exaggerated. Your chances of being injured on the way to Yellowstone are actually far greater than being injured by a bear. However, people have been injured and killed by bears in Yellowstone. Your safety is not guaranteed. Read the information below to learn good bear avoidance behavior. Most attacks are caused by surprising a bear, getting between a mother bear and her cubs, or getting too close to a bear with food. The chances of being attacked by a bear can be reduced by avoiding the above situations and taking the following precautions: • Be alert. Watch for tracks, excrement, diggings or other bear sign. Carry binoculars and scan ahead periodically. If you see a bear cub, the mother is close by. • Don’t hike alone or at night. Bears travel (often on the trails) and feed mainly at dawn, dusk, and at night. Statistics show that parties of three or more are safer than solo hikers. Groups tend to make more noise and appear more formidable to a bear. Also, if there is an attack, members of the group can assist the injured while others go for help. • Make noise. Talk, sing, clap your hands, shake pebbles in a can, anything to let a bear know you are present. Don’t rely on bells; usually they are too quiet. Shout often, especially when traveling upwind, near streams, or in thick brush. • Stay on designated trails. You increase your risk of surprising a bear when hiking off-trail. • Avoid carcasses. Never camp in a campsite that has a carcass nearby. It is very risky to approach a carcass; a bear may be out of sight guarding its food. Report dead animals near a trail or campsite to the nearest ranger station. • Avoid bringing smelly food. A bear’s acute sense of smell can detect odors from great distances. Leave bacon, tuna, ham, scented deodorants and other odorous items behind. Dry foods are lighter to carry and not as aromatic. If you encounter a bear: • Stay calm • Back away slowly • Do not drop your pack • Do not run or make sudden movements • Talk quietly to the bear, do not shout • Avoid looking directly at the bear If you encounter a bear and it does not see you, keep out of sight and detour as far away as possible behind and downwind of the bear. Climbing a tree is popular advice, but not always practical. All black bears, all grizzly cubs, and some adult grizzlies can climb trees if 2 www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/backcountrytripplanner.htm 25 through November 10, foot travel is allowed on the Old Road Trail from Tower Falls Campground to the Buffalo Picnic Area. Mirror Plateau: From May 15 through November 10, the area is open to day use only with the exception that from July 1 through August 14 overnight camping is permitted for a combined total of 14 nights per summer. Pelican Valley: Area is closed April 1 through July 3. From July 4 through November 10, the area is open to day-use only between the hours of 9 am and 7 pm. 1 Clear Creek: From April 1 through August 10, travel is only allowed on the east shore from Nine Mile trailhead to Park Point. Off-trail travel is prohibited. On August 11 all trails open and offtrail travel is permitted. 2 Clear Creek: From April 1 through July 14, travel is only allowed on the east shore trail from Park Point to Beaverdam Creek. Off-trail travel is prohibited. Open campsites are 5E2, 5E3, 5E4, and 5E6 (no travel away from campsite). All other campsites are closed. On July 15, all campsites open and off-trail travel is permitted. Lake Spawn: From May 15 through July 14, no off-trail travel allowed and the Trail Creek Trail between Cabin Creek and Outlet Creek is closed. Open Campsites are 7L5, 7L6, 7L7, 7L8, 7M3, 7M4, 7M5, 6A3, 6A4, and 6B1 (no travel away from campsite). On July 15 all campsites open and off trail travel is permitted. Two Ocean: From March 10 through July 14, and August 22 through November 10, travel is allowed only on designated trails (off-trail travel is prohibited). From July 15 through August 21, a permit is required for persons wishing to travel away from designated trails. Contact the South Entrance Ranger Station for permit information. Riddle/Solution: Area is closed April 30 through July 14. H I J J K L M N Grant Village: Campground opens June 25 or earlier if bear use of the area spawning streams is over prior to that time. If bears are still frequenting the spawning streams after June 20, the campground loops adjacent to the stream(s) will remain closed until bear activity ceases. Campground closes October 16. Heart Lake: Area is closed April 1 through June 30. Access to the area on July 1 may be delayed if conditions warrant. O the spacing of the branches is right. Climb a tree only if the bear is far away, the tree is nearby, and one in which you can climb at least 15 feet. Running to a tree may provoke a bear to chase you. You cannot outrun a bear! If the bear charges you, stand your ground and use bear spray if you have it. Some bears may bluff charge, then veer off or stop abruptly, allowing you to slowly back away. If the bear makes physical contact, drop to the ground, lie face down, and clasp your hands behind your neck; your pack may shield your body. It may take all the courage you have, but lie still and remain silent, resistance will only provoke the bear. Before moving, listen and look around carefully to make sure the bear is no longer nearby. In exceptionally rare circumstances a bear may come to view humans as prey. This is often a hiker’s biggest fear, but this type of encounter is extremely rare. If you feel that a bear has been following you, be firm and aggressive, look big, yell, throw rocks or sticks, and use bear spray. Night attacks on tents are extremely rare, but if this happens you should defend yourself aggressively. Any bear entering your tent at night doesn’t have good intentions; if it attacks fight back with any resource you have available to show that you are not easy prey. Do You Know Your Bears? A line drawn under the big toe across the top of the pad runs through the top half of the little toe on black bear tracks and through or below the bottom half of the little toe on grizzly tracks. Grizzly GrizzlyBear Bear Black Bear Black Bear Yellowstone’s bear management areas are instrumental in minimizing human related impacts on bears in high density grizzly bear habitat. Types of restrictions include area closures, trail closures, and travel limited to daylight hours or to established trails. Food and Bears Don’t let your actions cause a bear or other animal to be destroyed. A bear has an acute sense of smell. If you leave food out and unattended, you are inviting a bear into your camp. Just one incident of a bear obtaining human food may mean a dead bear. Why? A bear conditioned to human food is more likely to be aggressive and, subsequently, to injure or kill people in an attempt to obtain this easy source of food. When such a bear poses a risk of injuring someone, it is often necessary to destroy that bear. Samples of odorous items which you are required to hang include all food, garbage, empty or full beverage cans, coolers, lip balm, sunscreens and lotions, toothpaste, food panniers, horse feed, some medications, clothes worn while cooking, eating utensils which have not been properly cleaned, and any article that has an odor. Keep all food and odorous items out of sleeping bags, tents, and their stuff sacks. Before starting a day hike or backcountry trip check at a Visitor Center or Ranger Station for any recent bear sightings or warnings. Look for posted warning signs at the trailhead. Report bear sightings or encounters to the nearest Ranger Station or Visitor Center. Bear Pepper Sprays The best way to avoid being injured by a bear is to take all the necessary precautions. However, if these measures fail and you are charged by a bear, your reactions can, in many cases, defuse the situation. Bear spray is a good last line of defense that has been highly effective in the reported cases where it was used. The use of bear spray is especially appropriate if you are attacked in your tent at night. If you successfully use pepper spray to stop a bear, leave the area immediately. The spray is effective for a short time and is less effective the second time around. Bear spray is effective only at distances of 10–30 feet and is adversely affected by wind, cold temperatures, and age. Carefully read the instructions, know how to use the spray and be aware of its limitations. Be sure to check the expiration date. If you decide to carry bear spray, the canister must be immediately available, not in your pack. In choosing a pepper spray please consider the following: Purchase only products clearly labeled “for deterring attacks by bears.” Concentration should be between 1 and 2% capsaicin. The minimum net weight should be 225 grams or 7.9 oz. The spray should be delivered in a shotgun-cloud pattern at a minimum range of 25 feet and EPA approved. Although bear sprays have been highly effective at stopping charging bears, there are some indications that the residue from some oil-based sprays may possibly act as a bear attractant. Use your spray only as a last ditch deterrent on the bear. Do not spray around your campsite, tent, camping gear, or in any bear habitat. Store canisters on the ground by the food pole Recommended camp setup in bear country Keep your sleeping area at least 100 yards from the cooking and food-storage area. A food storage pole is provided at most campsites, so that food and other attractants can be suspended. You need to provide your own rope (35 feet recommended). • Suspend items 10 feet above ground and 4 feet out from tree trunks. Certain portable bear resistant food containers (BRFCs) may be used for food storage in lieu of hanging. A list of approved containers is available from park backcountry offices. • BRFCs must be left on the ground underneath the food pole or in the cooking area • Make sure all food and odorous items will fit into a container before starting your trip Store your food immediately upon entering camp and keep all food and trash secured anytime they’re not in use • Store all odorous items including food, trash, toothpaste, deodorant and lotion • Keep a clean camp; remove any food scraps and trash from the fire pit. Pack out all trash • Strain food particles from dishwater and pack out with trash. Scatter dishwater at least 100 yards from tent site • Never eat or store food in your tent. Sleep in a tent, not under the stars • Avoid placing your tent near dead standing trees www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/backcountrytripplanner.htm 3 Trails and Trailheads Maintained trails are marked by orange metal tags on trees and posts. Some trails may be hard to follow due to infrequent use, missing markers, recent fires, or large meadows where the trail tread is not clear. We strongly recommend that you carry a compass and topographic map and know how to use them. Distance and directional signs are at most trail junctions. Yellowstone has very few designated loop trails; however, loops can be devised by combining several existing trails. Doing this generally requires some segments of backtracking or entering and exiting at different trailheads. Leaving a vehicle at one trailhead and coming out at a different trailhead requires two vehicles or a shuttle. For a list of licensed shuttle providers contact the Central Backcountry Office or go online to www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/transbusn.htm. Parking is available at all trailheads. Overnight camping at trailheads is not allowed. Entering the Park From a National Forest Where and When To Go When possible permits should be obtained in person from the backcountry office nearest the start of your trip. However, if you are entering the park via a national forest trail and cannot stop at a permitting office, please contact the Central Backcountry Office in advance to make other arrangements for obtaining your permit. When planning your backcountry trip, remember that many of Yellowstone’s trails are more than 7,000 feet above sea level. Most areas have some snow until late May or early June, and some areas (especially mountain passes) are snow-covered until mid- to late July. In addition, many routes require fording rivers and creeks. In spring and early summer, some of the creeks and streams in the park can be 25 feet wide, 3–6 feet deep, extremely cold, and swiftly running. It’s hard to tell by the map whether or not a drainage, stream, or river will be a raging torrent or merely a swollen creek. Following is a breakdown of when many areas in the park are typically free of snow or standing water and can be reached safely (refer to campsite map on pages 6–11). To be sure that a route can be accessed at the time you plan to take your trip, call the Central Backcountry Office or talk to a ranger who is familiar with the area you plan to visit. Keep in mind when reading through the time progression that the listing is cumulative. CDT The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST) and the Nez Perce National Historic Trail (NPNHT) utilize parts of Yellowstone’s trail system. For further information on these trails, contact the Central Backcountry office. Early May: 1A, 1Y, 1R and the lower 2H sites. Mid- to late May: 3C2, 3C3, 3L1, the 2S sites. Early June: 1B1, 1G sites, 2C1, 2C2, 2C3, OG1, OD sites, OA1, OA2, OA3. Mid- to late June: WF1, WB and WC sites, 1C sites and 1F sites, 3P1, 4F1, 4C, 4D, 4E, 4G, and 4R sites, 8G1, Shoshone Lake sites (8Q3, 8Q4, 8R1, 8R3, 8R4, 8R5, 8S1, 8S2), some of Yellowstone Lake except 7M4 shore sites and those closed for bear management, 5E sites, and most Old Faithful area sites except OE1. Early July: 3P sites, 3C4, 3L, lower 3M, 3F, 3T and 3U sites, 8M1, 8M2, 8Q1, 8R2, 8S4, 8S5, 8S7, 8T1, Heart Lake 8H sites (except 8H3) and 8J sites, 8A sites, 9U sites (Union Falls in Bechler area), WA1. Mid- to late July: WD sites, WE sites, Fawn Pass and Electric Pass, 2Y1, the trail connecting the 2S and 3P sites (Bliss Pass), 4M2, 4B and 4W (Wapiti Lake) sites, 4P1, Specimen Ridge trail, all Yellowstone Lake sites, 6B1, 6B4, 6C and lower 6D sites, 6M and 6Y sites, 8Q6, 8Q7, 8T3, 8T5, some 8B and 8C sites depending on the Snake River ford at 8K7, and 9A sites and 9B1–9B6 sites in the Bechler area. August: Bighorn Pass, Yellowstone River fords south of Yellowstone Lake, 6T sites, 6B2, 6A4 by foot, 7G1, 7G2, the upper 6D sites and Eagle Pass, 9B7–9B9, 9D sites (Bechler River Canyon), 8P1, 8P2, OE1, most trails & campsites. Only limited areas are accessible in May and early June. In general, you will encounter fewer closures, dryer trails, lower stream crossings, and fewer mosquitoes if you travel later rather than earlier in the season. For your safety and pleasure, please plan your itinerary to avoid high elevations and major river crossings early in the season. Certain areas may be closed during the early season if conditions are considered unsafe. In addition, please review the list of Bear Management Areas on pages 2-3 for seasonal restrictions and closures. ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Be Prepared Weather in Yellowstone is Highly Unpredictable Many warm, sunny days abruptly turn into fierce stormy afternoons. Strong, gusty, south-to-southwest winds are common each afternoon in Yellowstone. Sudden high winds, rain, and lightning storms can follow. If you are hiking or boating when these storms approach, get off the water, shores, ridges, and open places. Thick forests of equal height offer better protection than meadows. Backpackers in Yellowstone may be surprised to experience winter-like weather any time of year. Rain, wind, sleet, and snow can be deadly if proper precautions are not taken. Always bring rain gear and extra clothes for warmth. Nighttime temperatures can drop into the 30s and 40s. Depending on elevation, temperatures may even fall into the 20s with a light freeze in July. Summer daytime temperatures are usually in the 70s and 80s. June can be cool and rainy; July and August tend to be drier, with afternoon thundershowers common. High water from spring runoff can make stream crossings hazardous and some trails wet and muddy until mid-July. Check current conditions before venturing into the backcountry. Thermal Features and Geyser Basins Burns from thermal features are a common cause of serious injury and death in the park. Following large animal tracks through geyser basins is no insurance of safety. Check at a ranger station before you go exploring; some areas may be restricted. Seasonal Weather Table* Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Average Maximum Temperature 26 31 38 47 57 66 76 75 66 53 36 27 Average Minimum Temperature 1.8 3.7 10 20 28 35 40 38 30 23 12 3.3 Average Precipitation 2.1 1.6 1.6 1.6 2.1 2.2 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.4 1.8 2.1 *Based on data from the Western Regional Climate Center 1948-2007 4 www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/backcountrytripplanner.htm Don’t approach or shortcut through geyser basins after dark when there is greater danger of stepping into a hot spring. For your safety and for the protection of thermal features in Yellowstone, it is illegal to swim or bathe in any water that is entirely of thermal origin. Many springs and pools in Yellowstone are extremely acidic or very alkaline; only a small number are neutral. Many thermal features also contain algae, bacteria, and fungi that are found nowhere else in the world. Soaking or wading in the pools can destroy these delicate life forms. Altering the status of any thermal feature is prohibited. Please don’t put rocks, sticks, or any objects into them. Doing so may clog the vents and cause their extinction. Food and smoking are not allowed in thermal areas. Be alert for bears in geyser basins in spring and early summer. Stock are not permitted in thermal areas. Ticks and Mosquitoes From mid-March to mid-July, grassy, brushy, low elevation areas (4,000–6,500 feet) are ideal tick habitat in Yellowstone. Wear repellent even on shoes, socks, cuffs, and pant legs. Tuck your pant legs into your socks and your shirt into your pants. Check your clothes and your body often. During the summer season, mosquitoes are common and widespread around lakes and streams, especially in wet areas. They are most intense during June and July and tend to diminish in mid- to late August. Repellents, netting, and wearing clothing with long pants and sleeves are your best options. After that, patience and forbearance are required. Regulations Campfires Open wood fires are permitted only in established fire rings at designated campsites. Use only dead and down wood which is wrist size or smaller so that it can be burned completely before you leave the campsite. Make certain the fire is cold before leaving your site. Restrictions may be in place due to dry conditions and forest fire danger. At some sites fires are not permitted any time of year; backpacking stoves are allowed at all campsites. Those sites which do not allow wood fires are specified with the initials NWF on pages 6–11. The Following are Prohibited in the Backcountry: Weapons other than legally permitted firearms , traps and nets, pets, motorized equipment, wheeled vehicles, and hay are prohibited in the backcountry. We do allow wheelchairs and trained service animals in the backcountry. Due to personal safety concerns, please contact the Central Backcountry Office for further information before taking a wheelchair or service animal into the backcountry. © TOM MURPHY Interested in a guided trip? Visit www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/concessn.htm for a list of companies permitted to conduct overnight backcountry trips in Yellowstone. © TOM MURPHY The National Park Service is required by law “to preserve” park resources and the values and purposes for which the park was established, as well as “to provide for the enjoyment” of those resources and values by such means as will leave them “unimpaired for future generations.” You can help us by obeying the following regulations: • Camping outside designated sites, at sites for which you are not permitted, or within 100 feet of a water source is prohibited. Digging a trench or leveling the ground is prohibited. • Food, garbage, cooking gear, and other odorous items must be suspended at least 10 feet above the ground at night and when unattended. • Carry out your trash; if you pack it in, pack it out. • Bury human waste at least 100 feet from a water source, campsite, or trail. Putting items other than human waste and toilet paper in composting or pit toilets is prohibited. • Bathing, soaking or swimming in water entirely of thermal origin is prohibited. • Polluting or contaminating any water source (with any soap, waste, food, etc.) is prohibited. • Tossing, throwing, or rolling rocks or other items inside caverns, into valleys, canyons, or caves, down hillsides or mountain sides, or into thermal features is prohibited. • Bicycles, wheeled vehicles (except wheelchairs), and operating motorized equipment in the backcountry are prohibited. • Feeding or intentionally disturbing wildlife is prohibited. • Collecting or disturbing natural features, plants, rocks, antlers, cultural, or archaeological resources is prohibited. • Impeding or distur