you are in the back country you are on your own, and that
requires some skill and thoughtful planning. Backcountry
camping requires a permit, which can be obtained at any
park ranger station. Much of the terrain in Dinosaur is
rugged. Sandstone breaks easily, and the sand grains can
act like ball bearings under boots. Watch your step near
A CAMPSITE: We
like to imagine ourselves traveling through virgin country,
and the sight of an obviously used camp destroys that
vision. Tent trenches, fire scars on boulders, fire
circles, and litter are some of the ways a campsite
becomes ghetto-like. Don't contribute to the problem.
Select a campsite well away from developed areas, at
least 1/4 mile from roads or cultural sites. During
the summer camping in the inner river canyons is restricted.
All of the Cub Creek area, and all of Jones Hole Creek
except the established site at Ely Creek, are closed
biodegradable soap, and use it away from water sources.
With the exception of the Green and Yampa rivers, never
bathe or wash clothes or dishes in a water source. Carry
at least 1 gallon of water per person per day in the
summer. Water is scarce in some areas of the park. All
untreated water should be considered polluted by the
microscopic organism Giardia, which causes diarrhea,
cramps, and other unpleasant symptoms. The most certain
method to treat water is to boil it for 3 to 5 minutes.
Chemical disinfectants are not considered effective.
Filtering systems must remove particles as small as
one micron in diameter to be effective.
you carry it in, carry it out, including cigarette butts
and organic material. Apple cores and orange peels do
not add anything to the desert environment, they attract
skunks and insects, and make wildlife into pests. Eating
and food preparation areas are particular concern. Pick
up and properly dispose of all scraps you have dropped.
Pack out litter that inconsiderate other visitors have
waste decomposes very slowly in the desert and is a major
cause of waterborne diseases. In areas without toilets,
bury human waste by digging a 6-inch deep hole at least
300 feet from water and frequently used areas. Carry out
your toilet paper in ziploc bags. Animals and erosion
soon expose toilet paper, giving some areas a toilet-paper-bloom
appearance. Burning toilet paper has started wildfires--Do
Not Burn It.
remains of fires last for many years. River campgrounds
have received enough abuse to require river runners to
use fire pans and carry out charcoal. Indeed, firewood
gathering and campfires are restricted in some areas at
some times. If you build a fire, collect only down and
dead wood. Build a small fire, and locate it away from
burnable material. Never leave a fire unattended. Trees
grow extremely slowly here, and in some areas use has
exceeded the available down wood. Jones Hole and Ely Creek
are examples of this. For that reason fires are prohibited
at the Ely Creek Campsite. Fire charcoal is unsightly.
Carry out the residue of your fire to leave your site
as if no one had ever camped there.
can harass wildlife, bite or disturb other visitors, and
contribute to the degradation of the backcountry. Pets
are not allowed in the backcountry of Dinosaur.
have reports of well-meaning visitors killing snakes near
camp. A look at heavily used sites will disclose branches
broken from trees and shrubs for fires. Damage and vandalism
to archaeological sites and rock art panels continue.
Fish entrails and orange peels are common in some places.
Some trails show the mark or erosion from heavy use and
short cutting switchbacks. How can we reduce or eliminate
such impacts? Proper care of the backcountry starts with
attitude. Treat the backcountry with respect. Let us know
ways you discover to reduce impacts on the park. Perhaps
if we follow these rules we can preserve the backcountry
in a pristine manner without undue additional regulation.