Forests Reopening

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Five specific camping and recreational areas, closed during the Hayman fire, will reopen for limited use on Friday, July 12. In general, however, the Pike National Forest will continue to remain closed for hiking, biking, picnicking, on and off road travel and other recreational uses.

The following five areas will now reopen:

Elevenmile Canyon Recreation Area
(off Highway 24 SW of Lake George)
This includes:

  • Spillway Campground
  • Cove Campground
  • Springer Gulch Campground
  • Riverside Campground
  • Blue Mountain Campground
  • All developed parking areas, day-use sites and the South Platte River within Elevenmile Canyon

    Jefferson Lake Recreation Area
    (North of U.S. Highway 285 near Jefferson)
    This includes:

  • Jefferson Creek Campground
  • Lodgepole Campground
  • Aspen Campground
  • All developed parking areas, day-use sites and Jefferson Lake

    Kenosha Pass Campground
    (on U.S. Highway 285)

    Burning Bear Campground
    (on Guanella Pass Road)

    Kelsey Campground
    (on Jefferson County Road 126)

    All roads and trails in the forest, except county and state highways, will continue to be closed for use, including those surrounding the campgrounds selected for opening.

    The Pike National Forest and Bureau of Land Management land were closed to most uses on June 10, as a result of the extremely hazardous fire conditions such as those which enabled the Hayman fire to rapidly spread to more than 137,000 acres. While the fire has been contained, mop up activities and dousing of spot fires within the perimeter continues.

    Use of the campgrounds will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The reservation system for Pike National Forest facilities was suspended in conjunction with the forest's closure and remains suspended for the time-being.

    The campgrounds and recreation areas being opened were selected based on an evauation of the following:

  • Threat posed to campers in those areas as a result of fire, flash floods, falling trees or other hazards.
  • Proximity to county and state roads.
  • Distance from populated areas which could be impacted by fires in and around campgrounds.
  • Ability for campground concessionaire hosts to monitor activities in the campgrounds.
  • Variety of other factors related to public safety and potential for additional fires.

    In conjunction with this limited campground opening, forest managers are requiring campground concessionaires to add additional staffing to monitor campground activities and provide additional patrols to enforce the campfire ban and ensure the continuing restrictions on use of trails and forest roads surrounding the open campfires are enforced. Campground hosts will also be required to have readily available minimal essential fire equipment including fire extinguishers, water and hand tools. Also, Forest Service engines and crews will increase their patroling of the campgrounds being opened.