April 6, 2020

Colorado Outdoor Recreation During the Pandemic

As you have heard many times by now, “this is a pandemic, not a vacation.” The message from the Governor, Department of Natural Resources and Colorado Parks and Wildlife is that if you are going to enjoy outdoor recreation, do so responsibly and close to home.  Maintain the 6 feet of social distancing. Stay home if sick. Decision making as to which areas are open continues to evolve and is subject to rapid change.  As of now, State Parks remain open – except Sylan Lake State Park in Eagle County. But playgrounds, campgrounds, dispersed camping and camping facilities are closed in state parks. Here are links to Colorado Parks and Wildlife information and responses to frequently asked questions:

https://cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/COVID-19-Response.aspx?utm_source=CPW-Web&utm_medium=Slider1&utm_campaign=2020_COVID-19_Coronavirus_Info

https://cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/COVID-19-Response.aspx?utm_source=CPW-Web&utm_medium=Slider1&utm_campaign=2020_COVID-19_Coronavirus_Info#HuntFish

Also download the COTREX (Colorado Traill Explorer) online map app or go to  https://trails.colorado.gov

as CPW will update the map regularly to track trail-related COVID-19 closures across Colorado.  The map also will help you to find an alternative trail if the one you have chosen is too full to enable you to maintain 6 feet of distancing.

There is a quite a patchwork of closures.  Rocky Mountain National Park and Mesa Verde National Park are closed.  US Forest Service has closed campgrounds, restroom picnic sites and “developed” trailheads – which means those with bathrooms and parking lots. Many other trails remain open.  Pack out any trash you have.  And check on your local areas before going.  For example, Waterton Canyon and the Manitou Incline are closed.

For your safety, remember that first responders and medical personnel are stretched near or beyond capacity.  Finally, note the the Governor has asked all of us to wear non-medical masks or other face coverings such as a bandana when we leave home to recreate outdoors. (Upon returning wash your hands immediately for 20 seconds with soap.)

For Colorado Public Lands Day, May 16, keep enjoying nature close to home rather than traveling to public lands and waters in other counties.

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