Visitors should be aware that litter is to be taken out of the Canyon with them, or deposited into a trash receptacle, and the creek is not to be used as a bathroom, nor is the forest.
These are basic standards of behavior that any family would enforce in their own home. In the Canyon though, any potential litter or pollution problem is exacerbated by the sheer numbers of visitors.
We simply can't afford to be lax. The Canyon is in our trust perpetually, generation after generation. The fragility of its environment is at stake.
Our quest, therefore, is to recruit all visitors as Canyon Ambassadors, so they can pass along some common sense information called protocols, to their family, and friends.
We affectionately call our protocols, "bearisms" and they are presented by "Clare Bear" throughout our site as well as on our Protocols page. "Clare Bear" is a cousin of "Smokey the Bear" but with a different message. They're both important.
At Indian Gardens our Council has built the first roadside public restrooms in Oak Creek Canyon with the help of many private citizens, businesses and government entities. Why?
Because in order to maintain the highest quality of the water in Oak Creek, we must prevent its pollution from every source we can determine. Oak Creek is drinking water to people downstream, and was designated a "Unique" watercourse in 1991 by the state of Arizona.
So your visit is important. We hope you have a wonderful time and enjoy the beauty of the Canyon, and the peaceful meandering of Oak Creek, and its West Fork.
Take many photographs, but leave only footprints, and please be part of the Canyon's legacy.
Together, we ARE making a difference.