Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland to Close Developed Recreation Sites

Contact(s): Reghan Cloudman


FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland (ARP) will begin the orderly closure of certain developed recreation sites and campgrounds as early as March 26, 2020, to protect public health and safety and align with state and local measures already in place to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Closures will be in place through April 30, 2020, at which point they will be reevaluated.

The ARP takes the safety of our personnel, contractors, volunteers, and visitors seriously. COVID-19 poses unique and unprecedented risks to our workforce, visitors, and the communities we live in and support. Crowded conditions in recent days in parking areas, trailheads, and at popular forest and grassland destinations are undermining the country’s critical efforts to contain the spread.

At this time, all restrooms, including those at trailheads, on the Forests and Grassland will be closed. Some picnic areas and day use areas that are typically open this time of year will also be closing. The warming huts at both Berthoud Pass and Brainard Lake are already closed. The East Shore Trailhead is also closing.

Campgrounds currently open, Dowdy Lake and Ansel Watrous Campgrounds, will close and those scheduled to open before April 30 will be delayed in opening. The Squaw Mountain Fire Lookout is also closed. Reservation holders will be notified via email and/or cell phone text message of any changes affecting their reservation and they will receive a full refund.

This is a fluid situation and a full up-to-date list of closed areas is available online at www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/arp/recreation.

The ARP will continue to coordinate its COVID-19 response in alignment with all federal, state and local guidance. Everyone is urged to take the precautions recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Their most recent guidelines are available at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html.  Additional information is also available at www.usda.gov/coronavirus.

Given the demonstrated risk of exposure to COVID-19 from large, concentrated gatherings of people, USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region officials are temporarily discouraging continued recreational use on the national forests and grasslands. Safe and responsible use of forests and grasslands will reduce impacts to local communities who may be at risk from COVID-19.

The ARP has moved to virtual services. Please visit us at www.fs.usda.gov/arp and access our forest maps at www.fs.fed.us/ivm. If you need immediate assistance, please call 970-295-6700.

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/arp/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD716422