Stay The Trail and Trail Etiquette

December 23, 2020 - JeepToursCO
Jeep Tours Colorado Native Jeeps Stay the Trail

Jeeping, jeeps, and trail use has changed significantly since the first Jeeps rolled into American forests and deserts following WWII. Land use has changed as dramatically as our Jeeps have over the last 30 years specifically.

Travel Management Planning

One of the most significant changes was the implementation of Travel Management Planning, which required the creation of Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) and designated roads and trails within Ranger Districts. 

The Forest Service were required to evaluate roads a number of ways – and many were permanently closed as a result. Roads that were close to waterways were particularly vulnerable, as were roads that had been widened or had seen damage caused by irresponsible use.

The remaining roads and trails we have left require our responsibility to stay open for future generations of Jeepers.

Here is some basic etiquette for new Jeepers:

  • Stay the Trail. When encountering obstacles, do not go around the obstacle. Work the problem and get over it. If the trail is too difficult for your ability, or comfort level, choose another trail. The erosion that illegal bypasses cause are a major factor in road closures.
  • Know your vehicle width, and type, and stay on the trails for your designated usage. Respect seasonal closures.
  • When parking for side trips, try to park on already disturbed, or naturally wider areas of the road. If not possible, stay within one vehicle width of the road surface. Avoid parking in high tundra areas altogether if possible.
  • Uphill traffic has right-of-way
  • Try to avoid undercutting stream banks by crossing streams and mud holes at a reasonable pace
  • Pick up your own trash, and if necessary pick up trash from others
  • Follow local guidelines for dispersed camping and pick established spots away from water wherever possible

Following these guidelines will help keep trail impacts as minimal as possible and keep our trails open!

For more resources visit:

Stay the Trail Colorado 

White River National Forest 

Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forest 


Ways to Help

There are a number of ways you as a member of the offroad community can do to help. One of the easiest ways is to join a local Jeep or Off-Road club, and participate in trail runs and cleanups. Many locals clubs also do volunteer days, with work organized with the FS to address specific issues and trail build.

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