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A couple standing on a rocky cliff overlooking the mountains.

Vail -7 Principles of Leave No Trace

Welcome to Vail, Colorado where the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace provide an easily understood framework of minimum impact practices for anyone visiting.  Whether you venture into the mountains on our trail systems, or are strolling in our villages, these principles when followed with help us all lessen the impact we have on our precious environment!

Although Leave No Trace has its roots in backcountry settings, the Principles have been adapted so that they can be applied anywhere — from wilderness areas, to parks, your own backyard and the streets of Vail! They also apply to almost every recreational activity. Each Principle covers a specific topic and provides detailed information for minimizing impacts.

The Seven Principles are well established and widely known, but they are not static. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics continually examines, evaluates and reshapes the Principles. The Center’s Education Department conducts research — including publishing scholarly articles in independent journals — to ensure that the Principles are up to date with the latest insights from biologists, land managers and other leaders in outdoor education.

We invite you to familiarize yourself with these seven principles (click on each below), share them with your family and friends and be in leader in displaying and implementing these while you are in Vail…..and back home.  Vail and the wilderness thanks you!


© 1999 by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics:


Vail partnered with Walking Mountains Science Center and Sustainable Travel International to become the first sustainable mountain resort destination in the world and the first certified sustainable destination in the United States certified by a GSTC-Accredited certifying body, Green Destinations.

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restore the gore VAIL

Gore Creek—the clear, rocky mountain stream that runs through the heart of Vail—offers a peaceful respite for residents and visitors, important wildlife habitat, and a water supply for downstream communities. But, the river’s health is threatened by pollutants from urban runoff, drainage from pavement and rooftops, and the loss of streamside vegetation that filters pollutants and slows their drainage into creeks and streams.  Learn more about the challenges facing our favorite waterway, then find out how you can play a part in the solution.

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 Look for this icon next to businesses in Vail, indicating they are part of the Actively Green program. These businesses have greater efficiency and improved management processes to ensure they are a sustainable business.