The San Juan National Forest will start to reopen campgrounds before Memorial Day weekend.
According to a news release issued Wednesday, “several developed recreation sites” will open Friday. Visitors should not expect, however, restrooms or garbage collection.
“Come with all the essentials for a day trip, including food, emergency supplies and resources to pack out trash,” the Forest Service said in a statement.
To find out which campsites will reopen and which will remain closed, visit the Forest Service’s campground status website at https://bit.ly/3bQxyJK.
The Forest Service closed all developed campgrounds and enacted fire restrictions in early April because of the coronavirus outbreak. Trails and dispersed camping, however, have remained open to use.
Stage 1 fire restrictions will remain in place, meaning no campfires, charcoal grills or barbecues. Smoking is not allowed unless inside a vehicle or building.
Although Forest Service campgrounds will reopen for the holiday weekend, Gov. Jared Polis’ safer-at-home regulations remain in place until at least May 27.
An enforceable mandate within the safer-at-home order says people must limit travel for recreation to their county or travel no more than 10 miles.
“While we understand there may be some excitement from the public to return to beloved recreation areas, please continue to follow local, state and federal guidelines on staying safe,” San Juan National Forest Supervisor Kara Chadwick said in a prepared statement.
Polis said last week, however, if people do go camping outside their community, to fuel up and bring enough provisions to avoid stopping in other towns.
A request for clarification to the governor’s office and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment was not immediately returned Wednesday morning.
Chimney Rock National Monument will open with limited services June 1. Certain developed recreation sites on the Columbine Ranger District will remain closed through May 31, including all group-use campground areas to limit group sizes.
“There is still work to be done – ensuring cleanliness of facilities, conducting proper maintenance, and assessing recreation areas for health and safety,” Chadwick said.
People are asked to keep social distancing, avoid crowding in parking lots and at trailheads, and follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention precautions.