Thing to Do

Dealing with Human Waste

White toilet paper lays along a desert mountain landscape
Toilet paper doesn't belong in the desert.

NPS/P. Bales

Nothing can spoil a trip in the Guadalupe Mountains Wilderness as quickly as the discovery of human waste or toilet paper at a prime camping spot or along the trail.

Always use the restroom before hiking. If you are on the trail for the day or an extended trip, be prepared to pack out human waste, toilet paper, diapers, and hygiene products. Human waste disposal bags are required to transport solid waste. Please follow Leave No Trace principles while in the park.


Doing Your Business in the Guadalupe Mountains Wilderness

In areas more than a quarter of a mile from restroom facilities, and all areas inside the Wilderness boundary, all solid human waste, feminine hygiene products, and toilet paper must be carried out in a landfill-safe commercial toilet bag
 

Due to the rocky nature of the soils and dry environment in the park, the digging and use of “catholes” for human waste is prohibited. Depositing human waste and toilet paper in or on the landscape is prohibited.

Overnight Camping In the Guadalupe Mountains Wilderness 

The use of a landfill-safe commercial toilet bag system (such as Wag Bag, Restop II, etc.) is required for all overnight Wilderness permit holders camping overnight . Affected permit holders will be required to carry a minimum of one bag per person per night for the duration of their trip and present proof that they have the required number of bags before their permit will be issued.

Details
Duration
5-15 Minutes

Nothing can spoil a trip in the Guadalupe Mountains Wilderness as quickly as the discovery of human waste or toilet paper at a prime camping spot or along the trail.

Always use the restroom before hiking. If you are on the trail for the day or an extended trip, be prepared to pack out human waste, toilet paper, diapers, and hygiene products. Human waste disposal bags are highly recommended to transport solid waste. Please follow Leave No Trace principles while in the park.

In areas more than a quarter of a mile from restroom facilities, and all areas inside the Wilderness boundary, solid human body waste must be disposed of by burying the waste six inches deep and at least one hundred (100) feet from established trails, campsites or water sources. Toilet paper and all menstruation products must be carried out as trash by all users regardless of the duration of a hike.

Due to the rocky nature of the soils in the park, the use of a landfill-safe commercial toilet bag system (such as Wag Bag, Restop II, etc.) is strongly recommended for containing and packing out human waste. Use of landfill-safe commercial toilet bags may be required by the Superintendent at certain times or locations to reduce the impacts associated with burying human waste.
 

Pets disturb wildlife and are not allowed on trails. Your pets should remain at home as opportunities for pets are very limited in the park. Pet waste must be cleaned up by visitors in the places pets are allowed. 
Park entry fee required for all adult visitors. The park store in the Pine Springs Visitor Center carries a selection of landfill-safe commercial toilet bag systems, if you do not bring one with you. 
Reservations
No
Season
Year Round
Accessibility Information

Trail surfaces are loose rock or hardened rock surfaces. Hiking or trekking poles are highly recommended. Trail widths vary from two to six feet depending on the trail. 

Parking

All trailhead areas have accessible parking available. 

Service animals 

Only service animals that have been individually trained to perform specific tasks for the benefit of persons with disabilities are allowed in the park and on trails.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Last updated: May 31, 2022