Trailhead Break-ins

Break-ins and car vandalism are a potential problem in the parking area at the head of a trail.

Some precautions for trailhead problems are:

  • Check to see if the trailhead has a high breakin-in vandalism problem. If so do not use the facilities in that area. This might motivate the local authorities to provide better protection.
  • Park your car(s) in a safe spot such as a garage at the ranger station and use one car (the oldest), shuttle service or taxi to deposit you at the trailhead.
  • Check the parking area for evidence of vandalism like broken glass from car windows.
  • If the trailhead has little traffic or is close to a main road the probability of a problem is relatively high.
  • Park with the tail of the car facing the parking area. This will expose any potential tampering to other hikers who might be present.
  • Remove all valuables, open the glove compartment and do not cover - or seem to cover - anything in the car.
  • Do not hide objects in the car after you have parked as it would be obvious for anyone observing you from the woods. Do not hide car keys, wallets with credit cards, in the car.
  • Plan your baggage at home so that everything can fit into your bags and leave nothing of value in your car.

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