Wet weather poses challenges for Memorial Day weekend camping

Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer for many outdoor enthusiasts, but recent rains and snow along with continual flood damage is keeping some areas closed.

As of Memorial Day weekend, more than half of the Canyon Lake Ranger District’s campgrounds, in the Roosevelt National Forest northwest of Fort Collins, will be open, although those with reservations are booked and some of those open do not yet have water. For a full list, check www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/clrdcamping. Check the latest road information, as nearly all are still closed due to extremely wet conditions, at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/roads.

With many roads closed, dispersed camping may be a bit more challenging. If dispersed camping, pull off the road within 300 feet in a way that does not obstruct traffic or damage the ground. No overnight camping is allowed at trailheads or picnic areas. Some areas only allow camping in designated areas or not at all. Remember to get a map, available at one of the visitor centers listed below, to avoid private land. The motor vehicle use map is a good resource, available at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/mvum or from any of our Visitor Centers. You can also get these maps as an app on your cell phone at www.pdf-maps.com.

It is also important to remind visitors that there are closures in place for some roads and trails due to flood damage. Detailed information can be found online at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/floodrecovery.

A great source of information for those planning a trip to the forest is our visitor information centers. The Fort Collins office is located at 2150 Centre Ave., Building E, and open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5p.m. The Arrowhead Visitor Center, located in the Poudre Canyon, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and the Redfeather Visitor Center, located in Red Feather Lakes, is regularly staffed Friday through Monday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Both will open Memorial Day weekend. Additional recreation information is available at www.fs.usda.gov/arp or on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District’s Twitter account @usfsclrd. Visitor information specialists are available to answer questions at 970-295-6700.

Also, the Poudre River is running higher than average for this time of year. If you are planning to go rafting, you may want to consider going with a professional, permitted guide. Check the list at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/outfitterguides. Use caution when recreating on or near rivers and streams.

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