Hot Spots

2015 Leave No Trace Hot Spots  

Everyday, people seek the outdoors for adventure, kinship, exercise, solitude and all forms of enjoyment. Yet the places we have explored and adored for years are impacted by recreational use, some more severely than others. We call these areas Hot Spots –sites that are damaged but that can recover and become healthy again after specific Leave No Trace applications. By identifying and working with Hot Spots across the nation, we rapidly move toward recovering and protecting the places we cherish for future generations.

In late 2014, the Center received 83 nominations for Hot Spots, and has selected 12 geographically and ecologically diverse sites, nationwide. Volunteers will participate in community based projects in their parks, and the Center will engage with partners and friends’ groups around the nation to begin activating Leave No Trace in communities far and wide. 

2015 Leave No Trace Hot Spot Locations

  1. February 2nd-9thSaguaro National Park, AZ
  2. March 23rd-30thTravis County Parks, TX
  3. April 6th-13thPoint Reyes National Seashore, CA
  4. June 1-8thTillamook State Forest, OR
  5. July 13th-20thMt Bierstadt, CO
  6. August 10-17thNordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area, MI
  7. August 24th-30thLinville Gorge Wilderness Area, NC
  8. August 31st-September 7thMount St Helens, WA
  9. September 23rd-30thMcAfee Knob, Appalachian Trail, VA
  10. October 5th-12thVentana Wilderness, CA                                                        
  11. October 5th-12thPinnacle Mountain State Park, AR
  12. October 26th -November 2nd Bayou Teche Paddle Trail, LA

This program supports community-driven projects on public lands that work to improve the condition of a designated Hot Spot using Leave No Trace education, resources, volunteers and training.

2015 Hot Spots will receive the following:  

  • Consultation on solutions and program implementation from the Center
  • A week-long visit from the expert Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers
  • Training workshops for volunteers, employees and key members of the community
  • Locally-tailored programs to meet site-specific needs
  • Educational materials
  • Volunteer citizen monitoring programs
  • Assistance in putting the Leave No Trace program into action

Now in its fifth year, the Leave No Trace Hot Spot program and events are designed to raise awareness about natural areas around the country facing the threat of irreversible environmental damage. With more than 1.6 billion people visiting public lands each year, many outdoor areas across our nation are negatively impacted by recreational use. We are literally loving our land to death. The reason is usually not malicious or intent to harm nature and wildlife; rather it’s simply lack of knowledge or skills. The end result however is usually the same: litter, invasive species, habituated wildlife, dog waste, trail and campsite erosion, water sources polluted with human waste and more.

This specific week-long Leave No Trace training, conducted by expert Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, includes special events and programs for local officials, land managers, volunteers and the general public. 


High-use weekend at the San Gabriel River, just an hour from Los Angeles, CA.

Nominations for 2016 Hot Spots now open!

Submit nominations for 2016 Hot Spot locations here.

Previous Hot Spots

In 2014 Leave No Trace selected eight Hot Spots across the country to conduct special Leave No Trace events and community trainings including:


Mt. Ranier National Park - Paradise Area, Washington

San Gabriel River - Angeles National Forest, California

Red River Gorge, Kentucky