Responsible OHV Use
Arizona offers a year round riding season with over 40,000 miles of unforgettable OHV opportunities. The OHV community should practice responsible riding techniques and ethics, or risk losing these amazing opportunities for future generations. Get involved, be legal, wear your gear, protect wildlife and their habitats, and report vandalism or reckless behavior. Help Arizona State Parks and Trails and partners like Tread Lightly! protect the amazing opportunities to ensure the longevity of this quickly growing sport.
All off-highway vehicles (OHVs) designed by the manufacturer primarily for use over unimproved terrain and that weigh 2,500 pounds or less are required by law to display a valid OHV decal to operate on public and state trust lands in Arizona.
At the heart of Arizona's commitment to responsible outdoor recreation lies the Arizona State Park’s and Trails OHV department and their invaluable partnership with Tread Lightly! This non-profit organization plays a pivotal role in promoting ethical and sustainable practices, particularly within the Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) community.
Tread Lightly!'s principles, T.R.E.A.D., serve as a guiding compass for OHV enthusiasts, emphasizing responsible behavior and environmental stewardship. The following principles align seamlessly with Arizona's dedication to preserving the state's natural beauty. By adhering to the T.R.E.A.D. principles, Arizona's OHV community not only ensures the protection of delicate ecosystems and wildlife habitats but also contributes to the long-term sustainability of outdoor recreation. This collaborative effort fosters a sense of responsibility among enthusiasts, creating a harmonious balance between adventure and conservation for the benefit of current and future generations.
1. Travel Responsibly
on land by staying on designated roads, trails and area. Go over, not around, obstacles to avoid widening the trails. Cross streams only at designated fords. when possible, avoid wet, muddy trails. On water, stay on designated waterways and launch your watercraft in designated areas.
2. Respect the Rights of Others
including private property owners, all recreational trail users, campers and others so they can enjoy their recreational activities undisturbed. Leave gates as you found them. Yield right of way to those passing you or going uphill. On water, respect anglers, swimmers, skiers, boaters, divers and those on or near shore.
3. Educate Yourself
prior to your trip by obtaining travel maps and regulations from public agencies. Plan for your trip, take recreation skills classes and know how to operate your equipment safely.
4. Avoid Sensitive Areas
on land such as meadows, lake shores, wetlands and streams. Always ride with caution any time water is present. Wet soils are more susceptible to damage. Riding along river and stream beds causes erosion and habitat destruction. Stay on designated routes. This protects wildlife habitats and sensitive soils from damage. Don’t disturb historical, archeological or paleontological sites. On water, avoid operating your watercraft in shallow waters or near shorelines at high speeds.
5. Do Your Part
by modeling appropriate behavior, leaving the area better than you found it, properly disposing of waste, minimizing the use of fire, avoiding the spread of invasive species and repairing degraded areas.
“Nature Rules: Stay on roads and trails.”
- Stay on designated routes. Do not make new trails.
- Do not harass wildlife. Riding over plants destroys wildlife habitat.
- Signs are important for travel and your safety. Do not destroy signs. It is against the law.
- Avoid creating dust. Slow down.
- Keep out of closed areas. Do not trespass.
- Keep your OHV quiet. More complaints = more closures.
- Leave gates as you found them, whether opened or closed.
- Fences keep livestock confined – Do not cut fences.
- Do not drive on a route smaller than the width of your vehicle.
- Pack it in, pack it out. Do not litter.
- Reduce the risk of fire. Make sure your vehicle’s spark arrester is in good working condition.
- Be considerate of others by sharing trails. Pull off to the side of the trail, shut off your engine, and let horses and hikers pass.
Report Wildlife Violations
When you encounter wildlife in the backcountry, appreciate it, respect it, and LEAVE IT ALONE. It will return the favor. Keep your camp clean; bears and other animals are attracted to smelly, messy camps.
If you observe a game law violation OR wildlife harassment, contact the Arizona Game and Fish Department at 1-800-352-0700.
If you observe destruction of the environment or private property while in the outdoors, you may notify the proper authorities by calling the Arizona Game and Fish Department's 24-hour hotline at 1-800-VANDALS – 1-(800)-826-3257.
Off-Highway safety is imperative to the growth of this sport. Please be safe out there, exercise common sense, and obey laws while riding throughout Arizona. Watch this informative video made in partnership with the Arizona Game and Fish Department before your next ride to brush up on these important items.
Explore the links below to learn more about Arizona's OHV community, or to take your love of riding to the next level. You'll unlock a world of new and exciting OHV-related opportunities by getting directly involved in the following areas.
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