White River National Forest campgrounds open for the season

May 16, 2019

White River National Forest campgrounds open for the season

Forest conditions and snowpack varies, please stay bear aware and camp responsibly

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – The summer season is fast approaching and many White River National Forest campgrounds will open for the season starting on May 18. Lower elevation campgrounds are expected to open at times indicated on the Forest Campground list here; however, higher elevation campgrounds (above 8,000- 8,500 feet) including many campgrounds around the Aspen, Flat Tops, and Minturn areas will likely be delayed in opening due to high snowpack.

Prior to heading out on your trip, please check in with the local Ranger Station on the status of campgrounds, roads and trails.

“Across the Forest, we had an impressive spring as far as precipitation goes,” said Kate Jerman, Public Affairs Officer. “The snow and rain over the past few months has created variable conditions on the ground. We urge everyone to exercise caution, check in with local Ranger Stations before your trip, and if you notice damage at a campground or on a trail, please report it to the local Ranger Station or campground host.”

Keep Your Camping Memories Safe: Follow the Food Storage Regulation

The White River National Forest is located in bear country and has a mandatory food storage order to decrease the likelihood of bear-human conflicts. All food must be stored in a bear-resistant manner by using a food locker in campgrounds, approved containers or inside a vehicle in a sealed container. All food and attractants must be stored where bears can’t access them at night and during the daytime when unattended. If a bear becomes habituated to receiving food in a campground or recreation area and becomes a threat to humans, it may be euthanized.


Please help keep yourself, others and bears safe by following these guidelines:

  • Keep food, cooking items, and other attractants such as scented toiletries like toothpaste or sunscreen in food lockers, sealed inside a hard-sided vehicle, or in IGBC approved bear-resistant container.

  • Do not store food or toiletries that have odors inside tents.

  • Do not leave trash around camp. Deposit it in dumpsters provided, or double bag it and put it in a hard-sided vehicle.

  • Keep your fire ring clean; burn only paper and wood. Do not put food scraps, liquids, glass or metal in the ring.

The Forest Service works in close coordination with Colorado Parks and Wildlife on bear management issues. The Forest Service adheres to the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) standards for bear-resistant containers, trash receptacles, and coolers. For more information on IGBC approved bear resistant products, visit: http://igbconline.org/bear-resistant-products/ .

For more information about camping and recreation on the White River National Forest, call the Glenwood Springs Supervisor’s Office at (970) 945-2521 or contact your local Forest Service District office. Visit us here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.