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List of campgrounds at Colorado state parks and expected opening dates

Photo courtesy:MGN
Photo courtesy:MGN(KKTV)
Published: Apr. 14, 2020 at 3:28 PM MDT
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State park campgrounds are beginning to reopen after getting the go-ahead from Gov. Jared Polis.

More than a dozen state parks including Mueller State Park in Teller County reopened on Tuesday with more to follow this week. The governor has said the resumption of camping at these parks is up to the host county.

"Camping can resume in our world-class state park system, unless of course the host county doesn’t want it. We respect that. There’s some host counties that have state parks that aren’t yet ready to open those," Polis said in a news conference Monday.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife says most of the parks are reopening their campgrounds this week, but cautions would-be campers not to pack their tents just yet.

"As much as we would like to, we can't just throw our gates open and let people start camping," CPW spokesperson Bill Vogrin told 11 News.

Vogrin says Parks and Wildlife needs some time to prepare. This includes being fair to people who had reservations that were canceled. Before offering slots to the general public, CPW is planning to call everyone with a reservation before May 18 to give them first dibs on campsites.

Once all of those people are contacted, everyone else can go onto the

and reserve a campground. All state park campgrounds are open by reservation only, something that Colorado began requiring at the start of the year, before the pandemic.

SCROLL DOWN FOR A LIST OF OPENING DATES FOR CAMPGROUNDS AT COLORADO STATE PARKS

Campers will find new guidelines at the state parks. Campsites will be held to a maximum of 10 people, and campers will be asked to stay with their groups and not mingle with others. Masks should be worn if away from your campsite. If a county has a stricter public health order than the state, then those restrictions must be respected.

The park manager for Cheyenne Mountain State Park in El Paso County tells 11 News rangers will be on patrol to encourage these guidelines. No fines will be issued for now.

At Cheyenne Mountain State Park, the visitor center, showers and playground remain closed.

The governor has said he feels camping itself is a safe, social-distancing activity; it's the road trip that concerns him.

"In old times, you often would stop in local restaurants and pick up supplies and even refuel," Polis said.

He and wildlife officials both agree that can't happen now.

"Plan as if you are going to the moon. In other words, plan ahead. Fill up your gas tank in your neighborhood to avoid stopping both to and from your destination. Plan your meals ahead of time, utilizing grocery stores near your home," CPW said on their website.

And whether in the midst of a pandemic or not,

More camping best practices and additional details on how Colorado Parks and Wildlife is responding to COVID-19 can be found by

CPW has been updating its website throughout the pandemic.

Opening dates for campgrounds at Colorado state parks:
Tuesday, May 12

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (Fremont County campgrounds only)

Chatfield State Park

Cherry Creek State Park

Eleven Mile State Park

Elkhead Reservoir State Park

Highline State Park

Jackson Lake State Park

James M. Robb Colorado River State Park Island Acres

James M. Robb Colorado River State Park Fruita

Mancos State Park

Mueller State Park

North Sterling State Park

Rifle Falls State Park

Rifle Gap State Park

Staunton State Park

Vega State Park

Wednesday, May 13

Cheyenne Mountain State Park*

Crawford State Park

Thursday, May 14

Boyd Lake State Park

St. Vrain State Park

John Martin Reservoir State Park

Friday, May 15

Golden Gate Canyon State Park*

Lake Pueblo State Park

Lory State Park

Navajo State Park

Ridgway State Park

The following parks continue to coordinate with local officials for reopening plans. Dates will be announced as they become available: Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (Chaffee County campgrounds)

Lathrop State Park

Paonia State Park

Pearl Lake State Park

Stagecoach State Park

State Forest State Park

Steamboat Lake State Park

Sylvan Lake State Park

Trinidad Lake State Park

Yampa River State Park

Watch the governor's press conference on Monday below:

* Parks marked with asterisks are tentative opening dates as CPW works with their county partners to reopen.

WATCH: Gov. Polis is giving an update on the state's COVID-19 response.

Posted by KKTV 11 News on Monday, May 11, 2020

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