Visitor Rules and Regulations

Photo of someone violating rules of the reserve

Use of off-highway vehicles within the reserve is illegal

A majority of the Putah Creek Riparain Reserve lands on the main campus are open to the public for passive recreation activities, such as fishing, boating, swimming, and hiking.

The areas open to the public are on the north side of the creek, from Old Davis Road, west to County Road 98/Pedrick Road. The south side has private lands, so please stay on the north bank of the creek to avoid trespassing. Please download the map of the Reserve, to see trail locations and allowable uses on the trails.

In order to protect the Reserve, its wildlife, and visitors, please observe the following:

Reserve Hours

The Reserve is open Sunrise to Sunset without prior authorization.

Use of the Fire Ring at the Picnic Grounds

Campfires are only allowed within the fire ring at the picnic grounds, and not anywhere else. Use of the Fire Ring is by reservation from Conference and Event Services, and with a fire permit from the UC Davis Fire Department. Check 'Alpha Phi Omega Picnic Grounds' as the location for the fire. Use of the picnic tables is available by reservation or first-come, first-serve for Campus-affiliated organizations, or first-come, first-serve by the general public.

Motorized and Unmotorized Vehicle Use

Unauthorized motor vehicle use is prohibited. Bicycles must remain on the levee road between Old Davis Road and Brooks Road, on the paved Levee Road between Brooks Road and Hopkins Road, and on the dirt road above the top of the creek bank between Hopkins Road and County Road 98.


Dogs must remain on leash (.pdf) at all times. Dogs must stay on the levee road or in designated areas.


Alcohol is not permitted (.pdf) on the Reserve except with an event license obtained through Campus Events and Visitor Services. The one-day event license will allow serving of alcohol, within certain guidelines.

Hunting, Shooting, and other Weapons

It is against the law (.pdf) to possess guns and some types of knives on UC Davis property without permission from the University Police. Hunting and shooting are not allowed on the Reserve.

Trash and Dumping

Dumping of trash and debris on the Reserve is prohibited. Dumping creates health and safety hazards. Trash and dumping hurts the environment and the enjoyment of the Reserve by visitors. A trash receptacle is located at the Fire Ring Picnic Grounds for use by Reserve visitors.

Plants and Wildlife

Collection of plant and wildlife specimens is prohibited, without prior written authorization and appropriate State or Federal permits.

Research and Teaching

The Reserve is used by classes and researchers. Please do not disturb research plots, flags, cages, or any other research-related equipment or material found on the Reserve.