Leave No Trace Gold Standard Sites


To date, 10 areas across the country hold the Gold Standard Site designation. The Center will designate 10 more areas — national parks, national forests, grasslands and waterways, wildlife refuges, land trusts, county and city managed areas or any other public lands – by July 2018. By receiving this highest standard of recognition these areas become model sites, encouraging other public lands to ensure that minimum-impact education is part of everyone’s experience when spending time outdoors.

The following areas were designated in 2016:

Each of these areas underwent a rigorous application process to be named a Gold Standard Site and were ultimately selected based on combinations of the following criteria:

  • A history of successfully implementing Leave No Trace Outdoor skills and ethics into management, programming, outreach, and education efforts at their sites
  • Staff formally trained in Leave No Trace
  • Leave No Trace signage posted throughout trailheads, visitor centers, and campgrounds as well as Leave No Trace language and messaging included in pamphlets, maps, and other distributed materials for visitors
  • Offer Leave No Trace interpretative programs including ranger talks, campfire events and trail outings to its visitors