While enjoying the wild places of Heber Valley and its surroundings, the “Leave No Trace” principles are essential to help preserve this natural space for all of us, and for many years of pleasant access and use.
Leave what you find – including the beautiful flowers and plants
Minimize campfire impacts and know about fire restrictions in the area you are camping
Respect wildlife and give animals ample space
Always stay on the trail – life thrives in the soil around trails, so don’t kill it by walking on it
Be considerate of other visitors
Do you know who has the right-of-way when there are multiple users and different types of users on the trails? Many routes are shared by different forms of recreators, and some trails and areas are more populated throughout the year. Knowing courteous trail use and passage is key to ensuring everyone can enjoy the trails in a safe manner. Be sure to always be in control of yourself and your equipment. And slow down when approaching or overtaking others on the trails.
In general, downhill traffic yields to uphill traffic
Bikers yield to hikers
Bikers and hikers yield to equestrian animals and riders
Life jacket: The familiar “click it” campaign doesn’t just apply to seatbelts. Life jackets save lives and are a must when on or in the water. Play safe this summer and wear a life jacket. State park marinas usually have life jackets for rent if you don’t have your own or if you forget to bring them.
Sunblock: Our high-altitude valley means cooler summer temps, but also means greater likelihood for a sunburn. Don’t let the cold water fool you. Lather up before and during a day of water fun. Your skin will thank you for it.
Bug spray: Although not a huge issue in comparison to warmer destinations, we do still have mosquitoes near areas of water, both moving and stagnant water. Be sure to pack the bug spray. It’s better to have it and not need it than the other way around.
Stay hydrated: Even when spending a full day in the water, you can easily get dehydrated. Pack plenty of water for whatever fun activities you have planned and be sure to drink it up.
Tips for building and maintaining a safe campfire:
Use established rings or mounds, when available
Keep fires small and manageable
DO NOT burn garbage or anything other than wood – it is not good for the area environment
Never leave a fire unattended
Don’t put hot coals in dumpsters
Always completely extinguish your fire, including the hot coals
Once cool the next day, disperse cool coals to ensure no heat is remaining as wind can restart a fire long after you’ve left hot coals behind
Leave your fire pit and campsite cleaner than you found it by packing out everything you brought with you and picking up extra trash that may be in the area
General Smart Tips
Pay the fees: Know the areas you are visiting. Whether it be state parks, national monuments, forest service areas, or other fee-based destinations, be sure to pay for access and use. These fees help keep these spaces open, clean, and improved for years to come. Also, no one wants a ticket for not paying a nominal day-use or overnight fee. So, pay attention to your location and pay any necessary fees.
Pack it in, pack it out: Or even better, leave it better than you found it. Do the good deed and pick up litter when you see it. This includes cleaning up after your pets.
Limited cell service: Reception can be spotty in the more remote areas of Heber Valley and beyond. Stop by the Heber Valley Chamber Visitor Center (475 N Main St) during our open hours to obtain area maps and information, including GPS-based maps that will help guide you in areas where there is no cell service. And stop by the Forest Service Stations for additional information, if you need it for the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest or the Ashley National Forest.
Know the weather: Check the weather the day before and day of your planned trip and activities. Weather can change quickly in this area of the state, and you don’t want to be disappointed by traveling for an activity only to arrive and not be able to enjoy it.
Regardless of your destination and outdoor recreation plans, the following “10 Essentials” list is handy for all types of adventures. Read through and make sure you are well-prepared before you head out.
Navigation: compass, map, print, mobile – know where you’re going; know where you are; and know how to get to/from your destination, even in areas with no cell service.
Sun protection: sunblock, sunglasses, hats, and full- or partial-coverage UPF-rated clothing are all recommended for all outdoor activities. Our high-altitude location increases your likelihood for a sunburn.
Insulation: clothing and sleeping arrangements – the temperature can drop drastically in the upper elevations, even during the peak heat of the summer season. Pack extra layers and plan appropriately for the nighttime temps and sleeping conditions.
Illumination: bring a headlamp, flashlight, or camp light. If relying solely on your mobile device flashlight, be sure to have a way to recharge your device.
First aid: always, always, always have at least a basic first aid kit with supplies that are most likely to be needed for whatever activities you have planned. Accidents happen in the safest of environments, so be prepared to handle minor incidences, if they happen. Most small first aid kits can be purchased at the local grocery stores, hardware stores, and general stores.
Fire materials: while most locations may have extra wood or pieces of already broken trees for a fire, be sure to at least pack matches or a lighter. We recommend that you take a fire starter substance and enough wood for your overnight stay. Taking from the surrounding campsite area can be damaging to the habitat of that area. Never cut down branches or parts of living trees as this is harmful to the area environment.
Repair kit and tools: if applicable for your activities, be sure to pack any tools that may be needed to repair or do basic maintenance.
Food: okay, so this is obvious… but many forget the necessary items to accompany food such as a can opener, or forks/spoons/knives, or even a garbage bag. Think through what all you will need to enjoy eating the food you’ve packed.
Hydration: people often need more water than they take, so don’t underestimate your water intake. Pack extra!
Emergency shelter: depending on your activity and duration, have a backup plan for inclement weather, especially if tent camping at higher elevations.