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.
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 discover outdoor activities available at each state park and to learn about park or trail closures.
- 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.
Be Bear Aware
As bears prepare for hibernation and hunt for food, Coloradans may see more bear activity. Below are tips and precautions to help you prevent human-wildlife conflicts that can also save a bear’s life. For more information on bears in Colorado, visit cpw.state.co.us/bears.
Properly store all trash and lock bear-accessible windows and doors:
- Only put out garbage on the morning of pickup.
- Clean garbage cans regularly to keep them free of food odors.
- Use a bear-resistant trash can or dumpster.
- Don’t leave pet food or stock feed outside.
- Do not hang bird feeders from April 15 to Nov. 15.
- Secure compost piles. Bears are attracted to the scent of rotting food.
- Clean the grill after each use.
- Clean up thoroughly after picnics in the yard or on the deck.
- If you have fruit trees, don’t allow the fruit to rot on the ground.
Cars, traveling and campsites:
- Do not keep food in your vehicle; roll up windows and lock the doors.
- When car-camping, secure all food and coolers in a locked vehicle.
- Keep a clean camp in a campground or in the backcountry.
- When in the backcountry, hang food 100 feet or more from the campsite; don’t bring any items with strong odors into your tent.
- Cook food away from your tent; wash dishes thoroughly.
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.
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 essential 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.
- 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.
For more information on outdoor recreation in Colorado, visit cpw.state.co.us.