MONTE VISTA — It’s shaping up to be a beautiful and busy Memorial Day weekend on the Rio Grande National Forest! Here are some things to consider before heading to the mountains.
All but two campgrounds and most of the roads managed by the Rio Grande National Forest will be open this Memorial Day weekend. The high elevation Trujillo Meadows and Tucker Ponds campgrounds will not be open due to the persistent snowpack.
Most of the forest roads and trails will be open, but at higher elevations, many will be impassable because of mud and snow. Visitors are advised not to attempt to drive through patches of snow or over muddy areas to avoid getting stuck and prevent damaging the roads and trails. Hikers should be aware that they may be able to hike over the top of snow in the morning, but warm daytime temperatures can soften the snow making it nearly impassable in the afternoon.
The low and mid-elevation lakes and reservoirs are ice free and the creeks and rivers are running high. Boaters and fishermen need to be extra diligent to stay safe and avoid an unwanted plunge into the bone-chilling water as hypothermia can set in within minutes.
Fire danger ranges from low to moderate and there are no fire restrictions on the Forest. Even with these favorable conditions, visitors should always completely extinguish their campfires and never leave a fire unattended. An errant spark or ember can still cause a wildland fire in last year’s dry grasses, especially in breezy conditions.
To keep up with the latest road conditions, visit the Rio Grande National Forest website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/riogrande or call the Forest’s Supervisor’s Office at 719-852-5941.