Murphys, CA, is a magical location unlike anywhere else. Our historic gold rush town is surrounded by picturesque lakes, expansive forests, and towering mountains. When you stay with us at Courtwood Inn, we highly recommend that you lace up your hiking boots and reconnect with Mother Nature. As you’re exploring the area, it’s important to follow the principles of Leave No Trace in Nothern California.
To learn more about the best things to see and do in the area, take a look at our complimentary Vacation Guide!
Your Guide to Leave No Trace in Northern California
When you stay with us at Courtwood Inn, you’ll have access to state parks, expansive lakes, and a plethora of hiking trails. Plus, many guests stay with us on their way up to Yosemite National Park.
As we all spend time outdoors, it’s essential to be conscious of our actions and their effects on plants, animals, and ecosystems. That’s why it’s vital to follow the principles of Leave No Trace in Northern California.
Now, you might be asking yourself, what is Leave No Trace? Leave No Trace is a set of outdoor ethics created by the Leave No Trace Center of Outdoor Ethics, promoting the conservation of the outdoors. Following these guidelines can help minimize our impact on the natural environment.
The seven principles can be applied anywhere, anytime, while participating in recreational activities.
Leave No Trace Seven Principles
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you’ll visit.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
- Schedule your trip to avoid times of high traffic and populations.
- Visit the area in small groups when possible.
- Repackage food into reusable containers to minimize waste.
- Use a map, compass, or GPS to eliminate marking paint, rock cairns, or flagging.
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Only travel/camp on durable surfaces, including maintained trails and designated campsites, rocks, gravel, sand, dry grasses, or snow.
- Camp at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
- Good campsites are found, not made. You do not need to alter a campsite.
- Concentrate on using existing trails and campsites.
- Walk in a single file in the middle of the trail, even when it’s wet or muddy.
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
- Pack it in, pack it out. This means you should inspect your campsite, food preparation areas, and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack up all your debris, leftover food, and litter.
- Utilize toilet facilities whenever possible. Otherwise, deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp, and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Disperse/scatter strained dishwater.
4. Leave What You Find
- Preserve the past. You can examine and photograph nature but not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
- Leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects as you find them.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
- Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
- Use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires where fires are permitted.
- Keep fires small and only use down/dead wood from the ground that can be broken by hand.
- Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
6. Respect Wildlife
- Observe wildlife from a distance and do not follow/approach them.
- Never feed animals; it damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
- Store your food and trash securely.
- Control pets at all times or leave them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times (ex. mating, nesting, raising young, or winter).
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience by being courteous.
- Yield to other users on the trail.
- Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
- Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
- Let nature’s sounds prevail by avoiding loud voices and noises.
Stay in an Authentic Log Cabin in Murphys
When looking for the best accommodations in the area, look no further than Courtwood Inn. When you stay with us, it’s easy to see that we deeply love the environment and eco-friendly measures. We built Courtwood Inn as an eco-friendly bed and breakfast with energy-efficient windows, solar heating, and light-reflecting roofing. Plus, our log walls are inherently good insulators.
Browse our list of accommodations and find the perfect suite for you. Whether you’re looking for a room with a private porch, whirlpool tub, or pet-friendly options, we’ve got you covered here at Courtwood Inn.