Forest Service is closing developed recreational sites, including Vail Pass
Vail Pass site is among those that are closed
The White River National Forest has begun closing developed recreation facilities including rental cabins, toilets and group sites. In a news release, the Forest Service said the management action intends to protect public health and safety and align with state and local measures already in place to contain the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Closures will be in effect until at least April 30.
Go to the White River National Forest website, https://fs.usda.gov/whiteriver, for current information on office and recreation facility status. Most backcountry access points and trails remain open.
The Forest Service will be monitoring access points and adjusting management of these areas as appropriate to best meet social distancing direction and keep group sizes small. Safe and responsible use of national forests will reduce impacts to local communities that may be at risk from the virus.
Access to the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area from Interstate 70 at Vail Pass is closed. Access to the area from other locations such as Camp Hale are open, but patrol, grooming and parking lot plowing services have been discontinued. Access to the Hanging Lake facilities and Hanging Lake trail are closed through April 11.
The White River National Forest continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and evaluate potential impacts and adjustments to reservations and reservation policies through http://www.Recreation.gov. Reservation holders will be notified via email and/or cell phone text messages of any changes affecting their reservation.
The White River National Forest is conducting business and providing services virtually as well as continuing field patrols. If you need immediate assistance or have any questions, call White River National Forest’s regional offices:
- Forest Supervisor’s Office in Glenwood Springs: 970-945-2521.
- Aspen-Sopris Ranger District in Carbondale: 970-404-3144.
- Rifle Ranger District in Rifle: 970-625-2371.
- Blanco Ranger District in Meeker: 970-878-4039.
- Eagle/Holy Cross Ranger District in Minturn: 970-230-2560.
- Dillon Ranger District in Silverthorne: 970-468-5400.
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The tragic incident left a nearby camper wondering if more could be done to remove dead-standing trees from popular camping areas.