Outdoor Safety and Ethics

Safety tips while you are enjoying our forest.

Whether you're roughing it in a tent or planning a family outing to the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest, there are many ways to make sure your experience is fun and safe.  Here are just a few reminders to consider while enjoying a hike, ski, bike ride or camping trip on our forest.

  • Thunderstorms often develop in the afternoon in the Colorado high country. Visiting early in the day and being back near or in your vehicle by afternoon is advisable.
  • Be aware of high altitude sickness, it can be life threatening. If you are not acclimated, do not overexert and drink plenty of water!
  • Hypothermia can be a hazard throughout the year.
  • Watch the weather in September and be prepared for an early snow storm.

Check the quick links on the right for more recreational safety information, such as what to carry in the woods, emergency procedures, and just some common sense tips to keep you safe! -->

General Travel Precautions

  • Many forest roads are gravel and rough. High clearance vehicles are advised. Take your time and stay on your side of the road.  
  • Travelling on the mountain passes should not be attempted by low clearance passenger cars.
  • Be aware of tourism traffic on our windy roads.
  • Watch out for animals in the road, such as cattle, deer, sheep, and elk.
  • Comply with speed limits.
  • Be aware of pedestrian and trail crosswalks.

Coping with Colorado's High Elevations - Altitude Sickness

Safety guidelines for hazard trees - Fallng trees are always a danger when travelling in the forest. Avoid the risk!

Avalanche - Awareness and Safety

Forest Ethics - Leave No Trace 

GMUG Safety Officer explaining outdoor ethics to elementary students in classroom

GMUG Safety officer explaining principles of "Leave No Trace" and other outdoor ethics to elementary students.



Outdoor Safety - Take personal responsibility and think SAFETY!


Planning your camping or hiking trip

General outdoor safety for hiking and camping

Essentials for your pack

Tips for the trail

Campfire Safety

Bear Safety