How-to: Playa Like a Pro
Five tips for recreating responsibly on the Alvord Desert playa:
- Only drive on the desert playa, not through the dunes, and only drive on the playa when it’s dry. When water is present, the playa turns into a thick slippery mud which can swallow even the biggest tires and the surrounding sand dunes are the nesting grounds for many different bird species. Please also keep this in mind if you camp in the dunes.
- Remove rocks, debris, and wood you find on the playa. These pose a safety hazard to vehicles, airplanes, and land sailors.
- Use the vault toilet at the Frog Springs entrance, or use a WAG bag to contain your human waste until you can throw it away in the dumpster. Do not leave any human waste on the playa. (The normal strategy of digging a “cat hole” to bury your business doesn’t work on the Alvord because it is a lake bed.)
- Minimize the packaging you bring with you, pack out all of your trash, and pick up any trash you find. There is a large dumpster located at the Frog Springs public access where you can deposit trash that can’t be carried home easily.
- When establishing camp, secure your tents/awnings/camp furniture well to keep them from blowing away, as the area experiences strong winds.