Colorado Parks and Wildlife to Reopen State Park Campgrounds

May 12, 2020

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is collaborating with local partners to ensure a safe and organized welcome back to visitors. Campgrounds at Colorado State Parks will begin to reopen May 12, with a phased reopening that will occur across the park system in coordination with park managers and local officials.

Cabins, yurts, tipis, group facilities, and other reservable day-use facilities remain closed until further notice. Families who wish to search for campsites available to reserve should visit and click on “Make a Camping Reservation.” From there, search for a park name or location, type of site, and/or date.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) recommends that you stay home as much as possible and avoid close contact with others, especially if you are at higher risk of severe illness. If you are camping in your local region, there are several things CPW would like you to consider before you go.

Plan as if you are going to the moon

  • You MUST have a reservation. No exceptions.
  • Actively practice the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace, which includes Planning Ahead and Preparing.
  • Top off your gas tank in your neighborhood to avoid stopping both to and from your camping destination.
  • Plan your meals ahead of time. Use a cooler and shop at your local grocery store. Make sure you have all the equipment necessary to cook, consume, and dispose of waste from your meals.
  • Bring a first aid kit and keep it under the seat of your car.
  • If you plan to camp in a dispersed area, bring your own portable toilet or other equipment to dispose of human waste properly, as public facilities may be closed.
  • Pack out your trash and recyclables to take home with you and utilize your own receptacles.

This trip will not be the same as your last trip

  • Review and follow local restrictions pertaining to limitations on recreational activities or travel.
  • Prepare for reduced services. Restrooms, trash receptacles, and other facilities may be closed or have limited service. 
  • Be mindful with campfires. Use only approved fire pits, obey all restrictions in place, never leave a fire unattended, and fully extinguish all coals before leaving.   
  • Don’t engage in high-risk activities. Know your limits and plan your trip ahead of time to avoid getting lost or hurt.
  • Keep it below 10. Camp and recreate with members of your household and keep your overall numbers below 10 individuals.
  • Make new friends another time. Don’t invite visitors to your campsites, even for a few minutes. Gatherings of larger than 10 individuals will be asked to leave and may result in loss of your camping privileges.

Protect yourself and others during your trip

  • Feeling sick? Stay home. If you or anyone in your party starts to feel sick while you are camping, go home.
  • Wash your hands. If you use a public restroom, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Bring hand sanitizer. Bring hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and use it often.
  • Give some space. Keep 6 feet of physical distance from others not in your household group. Do not congregate near bathrooms or water sources. 
  • Wear a face covering. If you must stop at a gas station or store, wear a cloth face covering at all times. 
  • Don’t be caught off guard. Bring a cloth face covering every time you leave your campsite, and wear it when there’s a chance that you may encounter others, such as out on the trail or in the woods.
  • No touching. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent potential spread of the virus.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve.
  • Keep a clean campsite. Place trash in plastic trash bags and properly dispose of your trash in available trash containers. If trash service isn’t provided at your campsite, bring it home with you.
  • Keep pets in your immediate control. Dogs must remain leashed at all times and maintain at least 6 feet from other people and animals. Avoid contact with other campers’ pets.
  • Have patience and be kind to others. Remember, we’re all in this together and tensions are high. Keep your distance, be courteous, and have fun! 

Other state park recreation opportunities

People may still visit state parks for day-use recreation if they are not planning to camp. As of today, non-campground outdoor areas of parks, including trails, boat ramps, marinas, and shorelines remain open. All visitor centers and park offices remain closed; reopening plans will be posted on the CPW website when available.

Visitors are reminded to practice social distancing, maintain at least six feet between other visitors, and wear face coverings where six feet of distance cannot be maintained. CPW managers have the discretion to close areas that do not allow for social distancing. 

CPW encourages people to take local county and state stay-at-home orders seriously, and limit travel to local destinations for recreating. Anyone demonstrating signs of illness, such as coughing, fever, or shortness of breath should stay home.

Most importantly, CPW recommends that everyone follow precautionary guidance issued by the CDC, CDPHE, public local health agencies, and the Colorado Governor’s Office when recreating in the outdoors.

Keep up to date with Colorado Parks and Wildlife

CPW is continually monitoring COVID-19 and its impact on our customers and is committed to keeping the public informed on how the agency is responding. Visitors to all CPW parks, wildlife areas and offices are asked to follow the state’s most recent guidance on social gatherings to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

For the most up-to-date information, visit the COVID-19 Response page on the CPW website and connect on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.