Outdoor Safety & Ethics

Take personal responsibility and think SAFETY!  Below are some general travel precautions, but once you get off the road and into the forest, there are more safety concerns to be aware of! 

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! -->

Travel Precautions

  • 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.
  • Drive with your lights on.

High Altitude

The mountains of Colorado are among America’s most beautiful and we hope that you will enjoy every minute of your visit. But some of the very features which make the high country so attractive may cause problems unless you recognize their dangers and know how to prevent them.

As you go higher, barometric pressure decreases, the air is thinner and less oxygen is available. It’s also colder and drier, and the ultraviolet rays from the sun are stronger. Each of these changes may have unpleasant effects on your body…

There is great personal joy, beauty and inner peace to be discovered in the mountains. Treat yourself with respect and enjoy your visit.


You may notice that your breathing is faster or deeper and you may feel short of breath, especially when you exercise. This is the body’s first and most effective response to altitude. Your heart is likely to beat faster also; this too is a helpful, normal reaction.

However, you may also develop a headache, slight nausea, or unusual tiredness; some people even have trouble sleeping. Depending on the altitude, 20% to 30% of all visitors from near sea level have one or several of these symptoms. We call this acute mountain sickness or AMS. Children are more susceptible than adults.

MILD SYMPTOMS: Headache, nausea, poor appetite, run-down feeling, shortness of breath with exertion. If symptoms remain after a day or two, grow worse, or worry you, consult a doctor. If you develop a worsening cough, increasing shortness of breath or feel like you have fluid in your lungs, see a doctor at once!

BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME, you can do a few things to decrease the effects of altitude. Spending two nights at a modest altitude decreases symptoms when you go higher. Eat foods which are high in carbohydrates, drink more water, take less salt and avoid alcoholic beverages.

ONCE YOU ARRIVE, take it easy for the first day or two. Reduce alcohol, caffeine and salty foods. Drink more water than usual. Salt causes your body to retain fluid (edema) which increases the severity of altitude illness. Some have found that chewing Rolaids may help.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Altitude illness feels very much like flu or a hangover, but is much more serious. Don’t push. IF YOU FEEL WORSE AND WORSE, GET MEDICAL HELP! Minor altitude symptoms occasionally become life-threatening. Don’t let ignorance or carelessness spoil your stay!


  • Increase Fluid Intake

  • Decrease Salt Intake

  • Moderate Your Physical Activity

  • Select High Carbohydrate Foods

  • Eat Low Fat Meals

  • Reduce Alcohol and Caffeine

  • Feeling Lousy? Seek Help!

  • Have Fun!