San Juan National Forest Officials Begin Opening Specific Developed Recreation Sites, Fire Restrictions Remain

Durango, Colo., May 20, 2020 – San Juan National Forest officials will begin opening some developed recreation sites after May 20. The Columbine, Dolores and Pagosa Ranger districts will begin opening specific sites on May 22. Chimney Rock National Monument will open with limited services on June 1. Certain developed recreation sites on the Columbine Ranger District will remain closed through May 31, including all group use campground areas due to group size limits. Trails, trailheads and general forest areas will remain accessible for public use. 

“While we understand there may be some excitement from the public to return to beloved recreation areas, please continue to follow local, state and federal guidelines on staying safe,” said San Juan National Forest Supervisor Kara Chadwick. “There is still work to be done – ensuring cleanliness of facilities, conducting proper maintenance, and assessing recreation areas for health and safety.”

Visitors should come with all the essentials for a day trip, including food, emergency supplies and resources to pack out trash. If you do plan on visiting the national forest, please recreate responsibly by adhering to the following safety and responsibility guidelines:

  • Stay close to home to keep other communities safe.
  • Stay 6 feet apart from others.
  • Avoid crowding in parking lots, trails, scenic overlooks and other areas.
  • Take CDC precautions to prevent illnesses like COVID-19.
  • Prepare for limited or no services, such as restroom facilities and garbage collection.
  • Prepare to pack out trash and human waste.

Fire restrictions (order) are in place through May 31 to enhance public safety, protect natural and cultural resources and help minimize human-caused wildfires. Forest visitors are prohibited from:

  1. Igniting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, including charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood-burning stoves, and sheepherder’s stoves.
  2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building.

For a full list of open areas and up-to-date information, including the orders, visit the forest website and social media pages (Twitter and Facebook). Information on individual recreation sites and opportunities are available on our website or your local ranger district office can provide site-specific information:

  • Columbine Ranger District (970) 884-2512

·       Dolores Ranger District (970) 882-7296

·       Pagosa Ranger District (970) 264-2268

·       San Juan National Forest Headquarters: (970) 247-4874