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  • Janna Hudson

Responsible Recreation

As many public lands and recreation areas open across Nevada, public officials are reminding residents and visitors to recreate responsibly by continuing to take all precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Keep in mind that public lands are public; the responsibility lies with all of us. This shared responsibility of includes the practice of social distancing and wearing face masks when crossing paths with others. Furthermore, be mindful of the unspoken rule: “leave no trace” while enjoying Nevada’s natural wonders. Whether you are watching kids play at your local neighborhood park or taking a walk in the woods at Mt. Charleston, it is critical that everyone practice responsible recreation, in order to keep everyone healthy and keep parks and recreation areas open.

Nevada’s amazing outdoor spaces can improve our mental health by providing solace during these stressful times. To protect one another, our local communities, and the pristine condition of Nevada’s natural resources, we need to follow common-sense rules and courtesies when we recreate outdoors. Let's keep open spaces OPEN.

Eight rules for Nevadans looking to get outside from the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources include:

  1. Protect the health of yourself, your family, and your fellow Nevadans. This is a top priority for all of us. Stay within small household groups. Bring a mask whenever you recreate and put it on when approaching other groups. Always carry sanitizer. Practice social distancing at all times by maintaining at least six feet from others.

  2. Prevent wildfires by following Nevada-wide fire restrictions. Statewide fire restrictions are in effect. Check this site for details on fire bans before you venture outdoors. Refrain from high fire-risk activities. Avoid target shooting in non-designated areas. Check trailer chains regularly. Do not park in dry grass. Keep a shovel, fire extinguisher, and at least five gallons of water readily available in the event of an unintentional fire start. Our firefighters and first responders thank you for using extra precaution during these trying times.

  3. Avoid crowded trailheads and parking lots. Have a back-up plan if your favorite spot is too crowded. Remember, those State Parks and federal recreation areas that are open are operating under limited staffing and capacity, including day-use only limitations at some sites.

  4. Know before you go. Check land management agency websites before venturing out to recreate. Although many parks and recreation areas have reopened, many parks, on-site museums, visitor centers, and gift shops are operating under limited capacity.

  5. Practice Leave No Trace principles. Protect our shared natural resources. Pack it in, pack it out. This includes packing out dog waste. Be #1 at packing out #2. 

  6. Be prepared.  Be self-sufficient by bringing your own food, water, and trash bags.

  7. There are no reservations available for camping. Overnight camping in Nevada State Parks is first-come, first-served (with the exception of group-use campgrounds and rental cabins).

  8. Take it slow. Now is not the time to try an extreme or risky recreational activity. Thank you for protecting Nevada's healthcare workers. 

For all State of Nevada recreation sites, please remember to visit the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website and follow @NevDCNR on social media for the latest updates on public lands closures, re-openings, and other pertinent information. Additionally, please visit and follow @NVStateParks on Facebook for the latest information on Nevada State Parks.


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