We are living in weird times to say the least.
As Coloradans begin to slowly emerge from quarantine, we face a difficult task in deciphering rules from county to county and simply figuring out what is open. Even when trying to explore the outdoors there are restrictions. Here at Gearo, our mission is to get as many people outside as possible. Thus, hikers, campers, bikers, and paddlers need not look any further! Below is our comprehensive guide as to what is open, outdoor recreation wise, in Colorado.
Depending on where the recreation area is located, different rules apply to each county’s COVID response. When planning your adventure, we recommend checking this map provided by the governor’s office which shows which counties have opened their public recreation areas. According to websites of most state and national parks, all public restrooms are open. Most of the restrictions apply to visitor centers and campgrounds. As a general rule, bring a mask whenever you leave the house as masks are required in many counties when entering public spaces.
According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s website, all state parks are now open to the public in a limited capacity. This means that the parks themselves are open, but specific facilities like visitor’s centers may not be. Many visitor’s centers opened June 5th, but it again varies depending on the location of the park. We recommend checking the Park Finder before heading out. Here are the status of five of our favorite state parks:
- Golden Gate Canyon State Park: All outdoor components are open (trails, docks, boat launches, campsites), but there is limited access to the visitor center and other indoor facilities.
- Eldorado Canyon State Park: Trails are open but per Boulder County restrictions, face masks are required when 6 ft of distance cannot be maintained and visitors are encouraged to recreate within 10 miles of their homes, There is no camping at this park.
- Chatfield State Park: Most of the park is open, including trails, picnic areas, marina, boat launches, visitor’s center, and campsites. The only facilities not open are the swimbeach, showers, laundry facilities, and playgrounds.
- St. Vrain State Park: The park is completely open (camping, beach access, trails). The only restrictions are the availability of running water and shower access.
- Barr Lake State Park: Trails and boardwalks are completely open, Picnic areas are limited to groups of 10 people and once the parking lot is full, no additional entrance will be permitted.
The National Park System has begun a slow reopening of their many sites across the country. They recommend checking the website of each individual park when planning your visit, In Colorado, each park is open with specific restrictions based on their location. The park websites can be found HERE. Below is the status of four of our favorites:
- Curecanti National Recreation Area: Reservoirs and rivers are open to water and on shore recreation and all trails are open. Two campgrounds (Elk Creek and Stevens Creek) are now open, but all other campgrounds remain closed for the summer.
- Great Sand Dunes National Park: The park began a phased reopening on June 3rd. All trails, scenic roads, and picnic areas are open. Campgrounds, overnight backcountry access and the visitor center will remain closed until further notice.
- Mesa Verde National Park: Scenic roads, loops, overlooks, and hiking trails are all open. Limited park lodging, restrooms, camping, picnic areas, cafes, and gift shops are also open. The cliff dwellings themselves are closed to the public along with all ranger guided tours and the visitor center.
- Rocky Mountain National Park: Almost all facilities within the park are open but a reservation must be obtained in order to enter the park. This is called a timed-entry system. Reservations are now available from June 4th to July 31st for two hour time windows. Reservations can be made HERE.
Looking to try a new adventure but don’t have the equipment? Gearo provides rentals through local retailers all over Colorado and the entire country. Our website makes it easy to find bike, paddleboard, kayak, rock climbing, and camping gear rentals wherever your next adventure takes you.
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