Outdoor safety tips for Fourth of July weekend celebrations

DENVER – Nature belongs to all of us, and recreating responsibly shows you care about keeping our landscapes healthy and wildlife thriving. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is sharing a few safety tips ahead of the holiday weekend to help you balance your outdoor recreation with mindful conservation.

Be Careful with Fire

  • Colorado’s low humidity can create dry, dangerous conditions that impact if fires are allowed or restricted.
  • Check fire restrictions or bans before you go. Visit www.coemergency.com to find county-specific fire information. 
  • Avoid parking or driving on dry grass. Check your tire pressure, exhaust pipes and if chains or exposed wheel rims are dragging from your vehicle that may create sparks. 
  • Use designated campfire areas when allowed and available. 
  • Keep campfires small and manageable.
  • Put fires out with water until you can touch the embers.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended and report campfires that have been left burning.
  • Fireworks are not permitted on Front Range public lands.

Wear a Life Jacket

Enjoy the water, but always do so with a life jacket on – they save lives. Before going onto the water make sure you are carrying basic safety gear:

  • Wear your life jacket​
  • Check your boat and all required boating safety gear.
  • Avoid boating alone and tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
  • Boat sober. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths. 
  • Stand-up paddleboards are considered vessels in Colorado and require a life jacket on board at all times. 
  • Protect yourself from the dangers of cold water immersion and shock. Regardless of your age or experience level, cold water can quickly create a drowning emergency.

Be Bear Aware

Staying bear aware while on trails and when camping helps keep bears wild and reduces human-bear conflicts. For more resources and information on how to be “bear aware,” visit cpw.state.co.us.

  • Safely store food, beverages and toiletries in campsite lockers called bear boxes (if provided), in bear-proof containers away from your tent or locked in the trunk of your vehicle.
  • Keep a clean campsite. Scrape grill grates after use and clean used dishes. 
  • Never bring food or anything that smells like food into your tent. 
  • Lock cars and RVs whenever you leave your site and at night and close windows. 
  • Stay alert and respect forage areas like berry patches and oak brush.
  • Keep dogs leashed at all times.
  • NEVER feed or approach a bear. 

Know Before You Go

    • Be aware of weather conditions, water temperatures and trail closures where you plan to visit. 
    • Camping reservations are required at Colorado State Parks. 
    • Use the CPW Park Finder to learn about outdoor activities available at each state park and visit the park’s web page to learn about park or trail closures. 
    • Tools such as COTREX provide additional outdoor opportunities in the surrounding areas if your desired trailhead, park or location is crowded or closed.
    • On a holiday weekend, expect lines and potential gate closures. Have a backup plan and please be kind to park staff and other park visitors.


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