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  • Shannon Nolan

Leave No Trace: How To "Act Like A Local" When Visiting Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona is a breathtakingly beautiful destination that attracts visitors from all over the world. From the stunning red rock formations to the vibrant art scene, there is no shortage of things to see and do in Sedona. However, with so many people visiting the area, it's important to remember the importance of leaving no trace. What does "leave no trace" mean? In this guide, we'll explore what it means to "Leave No Trace" and how you can do your part to protect the environment when visiting Sedona and beyond.



Protect the beauty of Sedona, Arizona by taking the Sedona Cares Pledge and Leave No Trace. Photo by Shannon Nolan of Sedona Wedding Films.


What Does "Leave No Trace" Mean?

"Leave No Trace" is a set of principles that are designed to help people enjoy the outdoors while minimizing their impact on the environment. The idea is to leave the natural environment as pristine and untouched as possible, so that future generations can enjoy it too.


The Seven Principles of "Leave No Trace":

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare: Research your destination and plan accordingly. This includes bringing enough water, food, and other essentials, and packing out all trash.

  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces: Stick to established trails and campsites to avoid damaging the fragile desert ecosystem.

  3. Dispose of Waste Properly: Pack out all trash, including food scraps and toilet paper. Never bury or burn trash.

  4. Leave What You Find: Don't take anything from the environment, including rocks, plants, and artifacts.

  5. Minimize Campfire Impact: Campfires can damage the environment and start wildfires. Use established fire rings, and only burn small sticks and twigs.

  6. Respect Wildlife: Observe animals from a distance, and don't feed them. Avoid disturbing their habitat.

  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors: Respect others' right to enjoy the environment, and avoid making excessive noise.


How to "Leave No Trace" in Sedona

Here are some tips for "Leaving No Trace" when visiting Sedona:

  1. Stick to established trails: There are many established trails in Sedona that offer stunning views of the red rock formations. Stick to these trails to avoid damaging the desert ecosystem.

  2. Pack out all trash: Bring a trash bag with you on your hike, and make sure to pack out all trash, including food scraps and toilet paper.

  3. Stay on designated campsites: If you plan on camping in Sedona, make sure to stay on designated campsites to avoid damaging the environment.

  4. Respect the wildlife: Observe animals from a distance, and avoid disturbing their habitat.

  5. Be considerate of others: Respect others' right to enjoy the environment by avoiding making excessive noise and staying on designated trails.

  6. Take the Sedona Cares Pledge.


What is the Sedona Cares Pledge?

The Sedona Cares Pledge is a commitment to preserve and protect Red Rock Country's natural beauty. When we "act like a Sedona local", we do our part as visitors to leave Sedona better than we found it. This can include packing out trash, not building rock stacks, not carving on the rocks, and parking in designated spots or lots.


The Nine Commitments of the Sedona Cares Pledge:

  1. The rocks are red and the silence is golden. I vow to respect the natural quiet of Sedona's open spaces and neighborhoods.

  2. I will be mindful of Sedona's arid environment by minimizing my water and energy use and I will be extremely careful with fire.

  3. I’ll make my own memories, but not my own trails.

  4. I won't risk life or limb (human or sapling) for more likes. I won't get killed for a killer photo.

  5. When playing outside, I'll be ready for rapid changes in weather and random episodes of magic.

  6. Leave No Trace and pack out trash - that includes TP and pup poo!

  7. I will discover art in Sedona's galleries rather than making my own. Carving on trees or rocks, stacking stones, or defacing the environment diminishes nature's art.

  8. If I can't find a parking spot, I will not invent my own. I will go with the traffic flow, using my turn signal often and my car horn seldom.

  9. I’ll be caring and considerate wherever I go, because that's the Sedona way.


Visiting Sedona is a wonderful experience, but it's important to remember the principles of "Leave No Trace" to protect the environment. By following these principles and by taking the Sedona Cares Pledge, you can help preserve the natural beauty of Sedona for future generations to enjoy. So, the next time you visit Sedona, make sure to "Leave No Trace" and leave it better than you found it!

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