Outdoor Safety and Ethics
Please take time to review these safety tips to follow when enjoying your public lands.
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 year-round. It is the number #1 killer of outdoor enthusiasts.
- Watch the weather in September and be prepared for an early snow storm.
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.
Outdoor Safety Tips
- Avalanche awareness and safety.
- Falling trees are a danger when traveling in the forest. Avoid the risk.
- Bear Safety
Don’t let carelessness be the cause of a devastating wildfire! If lighting a campfire, remember these important tips:
- Never build a campfire under trees or overhanging branches.
- Clear a 10-foot area of pine needles & grass.
- Keep plenty of water on hand, and have a shovel handy.
- Keep all campfires small.
- Never leave a campfire unattended.
- Be sure your campfire is ‘dead out’!
- Check for fire restrictions
Learn tips on how to help keep our forests healthy by Leaving No Trace.