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Delta, Colorado, May 22, 2023 – The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests ask visitors to please protect their natural resources and respect other visitors by recreating responsibly. Visitation to the GMUG is expected to be extremely high again this year. Many roads are still snow packed and unpassable. We ask visitors to please assist us in protecting natural resources.
During this time of year, please stay off wet and snow packed roads and respect road and gate closures, which will decrease long-term and costly damages to the roadway. Ongoing damage to roads can lead to a variety of negative outcomes including erosion, wildlife habitat damage and a loss of access due to travel becoming too hazardous or rehabilitation closures. Please stay off wet and muddy roads, respect road, gate and area closures and be respectful and courteous to other campers. Do not remove nature barriers to bypass gates on closed roads or enter closed areas.
“Ruts created by tires that are a mere inch deep can leave long lasting impressions that only increase with rain and erosion,” said Chris Phelps, a GMUG Engineer. “Forest roads are not constructed to be all-weather roads, they can be easily damaged when wet, especially during years of above average snowpack as we have experienced this year. Some areas are either impassable or saturated and not suitable for travel.”
There will also be more demand for camping, resulting in a limited number of available sites each weekend. Please do your part and know before you go.
·Campers who want to camp in non-reservable developed sites should plan-ahead and arrive early for their best chance at obtaining a site. Always have a Plan B—Have several camping options to choose from in case the first option is full.
·Pack It In and Pack It Out—Garbage facilities are limited. Do not pile trash next to trash bins, leave it in your campsite or burn it in your fire pit. Campground trash receptacles are intended for campground guests, only. Please take your garbage home with you for disposal, and always adhere to Leave No Trace Principles.
·Be respectful—Don’t crowd your neighbors, drive slow in campgrounds, pick up after your pet, follow quiet hours and don’t walk through other campsites.
·Do not leave your campfire unattended or abandoned. Make sure to use the drown, stir and feel method. Ensure your campfire is DEADOUT!
“After the amazing winter we’ve had, we are starting to see some of the effects of the run-off,” said Ken Straley, GMUG Recreation Manager. “Many of our campgrounds and trails are still snow packed. We’re asking visitors to be patient and let things dry out some before trying to access these areas.”
For gate closure status, area specific information and road conditions, contact the local ranger district. For locations and hours of operation, visit the ranger district information page here. For more information how to Recreate Responsibly campaign here.
For more information on current fire restrictions, conditions and recreation opportunities, visit here.