Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the Pikes Peak region’s outdoor recreation destinations have restrictions or closures. This page is to help you “Know Before you Go” by providing updates to inform you before you head out the door. Because this situation is rapidly changing, please check with the local land manager before you head out just in case what we post here has been changed.
As of March 26, 2020, Colorado is under a Stay At Home Order that extends (at the time of this writing) through April 26, 2020. Although outdoor recreation is encouraged for residents’ physical and mental wellbeing, as the virus is rapidly spreading the Governor’s advice has changed a bit to encourage getting outdoors close to home, in our own neighborhoods, as opposed to traveling any distance to enjoy the outdoors. The CDC guidelines of social distancing and wearing a face covering, such as a homemade mask, also apply when enjoying the outdoors during this Stay At Home Order. These guidelines are temporary as we all do our part to stop the spread.
PPORA recommends the following:
- Check for closures and restrictions before heading out. See the listings below from local land managers.
- Find the “trail less traveled” – not one where tons of people are congregating.
Use PikesPeakOutdoors.org, or
COTREX – an app through Colorado Parks and Wildlife
- Maintain social distancing of 6-feet even in the outdoors
- Go only with immediate family or those in your home – this is not the time to go with or meet friends
- Stay local – now is not the time to go to small mountain communities, and we have plenty of places to disperse locally
- Nothing extreme – now is not the time for extreme outdoor activity, as our heath care systems don’t need additional stress
The information below is meant to serve as a resource for residents as you consider how and where to recreate during this pandemic.
USFS Pikes Peak Ranger District, Pike and San Isabel National Forests
Pike and San Isabel National Forests Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands Forest Supervisor Diana M. Trujillo announced and signed orders to temporarily close developed recreation sites and restrict fire activity across the forests and grasslands until May 31, 2020, or until the orders are rescinded, whichever comes first. Restrictions remain in place to allow employees to prepare facilities, as well as time to ensure the necessary personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies are readily available. Trails, trailheads and general forest areas will remain accessible for public use.
Updates to the availability of other recreation sites in the area are always available on our website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/psicc/recreation.
“Personal responsibility is important now more than ever. Safe and responsible use of national forests and grasslands will reduce impacts to local communities who may be at risk from the virus,” said Pike and San Isabel National Forests Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands Forest Supervisor Diana Trujillo.
- Rampart Range Rd. (FSR300)-The gate will remain locked after April 1, 2020 from Garden of the Gods to Rampart Reservior. This will be re-assessed weekly.
- Manitou Lake Picnic Area– As of 4/1/2020, we have closed the gate to Manitou Lake Picnic Area.
- The vault toilets at Rule Ridge Trail Head, Rainbow Falls Trail Head and the Crags Trail Head have all been locked and closed.
Fire Restrictions for the Rocky Mountain Region (as of 4/7/2020):
PROHIBITIONS: This Order prohibits the following acts in the Areas listed above:
1. Igniting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, including charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood burning stoves, and sheepherder’s stoves. 36 CFR §261.52(a).
2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer, or building. 36 CFR § 261.52(c).
You can find all current alerts and closures for Pike and San Isabel National Forests Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands (PSICC) at this LINK
Colorado State Parks
COVID-19 Update – 5/28/20 8:30 a.m.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife campgrounds and SWAs are now open to camping, with exceptions in counties with remaining health orders or areas remaining closed by county request. We ask visitors to state parks to remain flexible in their travel plans as we work with counties and local public health orders to keep parks and amenities open safely and cooperatively.
- For commonly asked questions, including SWA camping, please review our Camping FAQ
Updated 5/28/2020: OHV Registrations – CPW has extended the expiration date of all OHV registrations for a period of 30 days per Executive Order D 2020 015. Off-highway vehicle registrations and permits expiring March 31, 2020 are now valid until June 22, 2020.
Colorado counties, municipalities, and land management agencies continue to update their COVID-19 guidance including travel restrictions, road closures, and access limitations on a regular basis. Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds anglers, hunters, and all other outdoor recreationists that it is your responsibility to research and understand the specific guidance, ordinances and restrictions in place for any planned local recreation – know before you go.
- To see specific county health orders, visit: Colorado Counties Safer at Home Map
- To see county fire restrictions, visit: Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Fire Bans and Danger Page
El Paso County Parks
COVID 19 UPDATE
To help combat the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) virus and be respectful for the health and safety of our citizens and staff, please find below the current status of County Park facilities.
•Park Headquarters will open Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
•Park restrooms will begin to be opened.
•County Fairgrounds Office will open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
•Fountain Creek and Bear Creek Nature Centers will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to4 p.m. Access will be limited to nine citizens at one time per the Governor’s Order. No organizedprograms or activities until further notice.
•Rainbow Falls Historic Site will open on weekends beginning Saturday, May 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
•Playgrounds and pavilions will remain closed per the Governor’s Order until further notice.
•Park facility reservations above nine individuals are currently not being accepted through June 1st per the Governor’s Order.
We encourage you to visit elpasoco.com for online services, email to Parks@elpasoco.com, or call 719-520-7529. We will be happy to assist you.
The remainder of County parks, trails, and open spaces remain open. Park users are highly encouraged to practice social distancing and wear masks while enjoying the County park system.
Please be advised that as of January 22, 2019 the parking lot owned by the Cog Railway is closed. The area is needed for staging equipment and materials as they begin reconstruction of the cog line. The lot will remain closed through the duration of the reconstruction of the railway, which is expected to take a couple of years.
You can still park at the Barr Trail Lot and the Iron Springs Chateau and of course there is free parking at the Hiawatha Gardens building, 10 Old Man’s Trail with free shuttle service to the Incline. The city of Manitou Springs generously funds this service so please take advantage of it…unless of course you’d like that extra couple of miles jogging up and back.
Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, & Cultural Services
Parks, trails and open spaces are open per the governor’s Stay-at-Home order. However, this does not mean you should use these spaces as you normally would. If you choose to participate in responsible outdoor recreation, please adhere to the following at all times:
- Playgrounds and pavilions are closed. These areas are considered high risk for increasing transmission.
- No group activities or recreation with people outside of your residence. Outdoor sport courts and skate parks remain open for individual use only.
- Refrain from touching shared surfaces, including sports equipment.
- Wear a face covering.
- Do not use parks, trails and open spaces if you are exhibiting symptoms. If you or your children are experiencing symptoms, it’s important to stay home when sick.
- Follow the CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to and during use of parks or trails. Bring hand sanitizer with you to clean your hands if soap and water are not available.
- Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from other parties at all times. How far is six feet? It’s about the same distance as a pair of adult skis. Know what this looks like and practice it. In many cases, especially on trails, this may mean creating a single-file line. If this is not possible, find an alternate location or depart that space.
- While on trails, warn other users of your presence before you pass, and step aside to let others pass. Signal your presence with your voice, bell or horn.
- Users may find public restrooms closed. Be prepared before you leave and time outings so that you are not dependent on public restrooms.
- Bring water or drinks. Public drinking fountains may be disabled and should not be used, even if operable.
- Bring a suitable trash bag. Leave no trace, take everything out to protect park workers.
All educational and recreational programming, special events and facility rentals are suspended until further notice. Physical parks offices are closed to the public, but employees continue to conduct City business remotely and in the field.
Want to know if you should visit your favorite park today?
Based on two daily visual inspections, park rangers are noting the volume of visitors at nine of our most popular City parks to let you know if there is low, moderate or high traffic. If the park is experiencing high traffic, check out a different spot, or perhaps opt to get some fresh air in your neighborhood that day. Generally, these popular parks and trails are least busy early in the morning or later in the day. This data is available at www.healthyparks.co.Thank you for doing your part to reduce the strain on our favorite places. We are all in this together.
Woodland Park, Parks and Recreation
COVID-19 Response – 3/17/20
CLOSURE: Woodland Aquatic Center, Parks Playground Equipment, Parks Bathrooms
In accordance with recommendations issued by Teller County Public Health & Environment (TCPHE), and mandates issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE), the City of Woodland Park is closing the Woodland Aquatic Center, all park playground equipment, and park bathrooms.
Open space within our parks will remain open, but please take the proper precautions to maintain 6 feet of social distancing. This closure will be effective for 30 days, or until an extension of the mandated closures is announced by CDPHE.
Cripple Creek Parks and Recreation
Update: April 23, 2020
The Cañon City Area Recreation and Park District has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Youth Spring Soccer season. We were hopeful that conditions might exist for the season to be played, but we have simply run out of time. We are going to credit your Active NETWORK accounts with the amount that was paid when you registered. We will also make calls to parents and guardians to see if they would like to leave the credit on their account, get a refund, or to donate the fee back to the soccer program. The choice is yours. We wished for a different outcome, but unfortunately that is not possible. It is our hope to have a full season this fall and possibly some other soccer related activities during the summer. Only time will tell.
At this point we do not know when we will be able to resume our normal programming schedule. It is our desire to offer all of our summer programming, but that will be determined in the coming weeks. We ask for everyone to have patience and be flexible. Registration is open for many programs and we will be extending deadlines into May. Right now, the earliest date practices could begin for youth sports is in mid to late May and adult leagues might be able to start in late May. This is only if everything goes well with stopping the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to speak with local and state health officials as we attempt to start up programming. This is something all recreation departments throughout the state are assessing. The Recreation District looks forward to offering recreational activities this summer to all of the residents in Fremont County.
Update: April 3, 2020
To all of our program participants,
We know many of you have questions about when we can resume our adult and youth sports programming and Kids Klub. Unfortunately, right now there are more questions than answers in dealing with COVID-19, but our programs department is working hard to come up with multiple options. Everything will depend on when state and local leaders, and health officials determine the situation has improved enough to get back to some semblance of normalcy.
For our youth and adult sports programming, many of you have questions about when programs will resume or if they are simply going to be canceled. At this point we have not canceled any programs; they are all suspended. Based on the information we are getting from government officials, it will be mid to late April before we know what direction to go with resuming programs. If we cancel a season, we will either credit accounts or issue refunds. If a season is shortened or the remainder of an existing program is canceled, we will offer a prorated credit or refund. This is a very fluid situation and hopefully we will be able to get back to offering programs in the near future, but we will have to wait and see. Please understand we are looking at every option to try and get kids and adults playing a sport they love. Hopefully, as April moves along, we will have a better idea of what that looks like.
For Kids Klub, which is held at local schools, this is also a fluid situation. Governor Polis has made it very clear that childcare is vital and essential so parents may continue to work. The Cañon City School District has graciously offered to let us use McKinley Elementary School as a site. However, we currently don’t have enough interest to open the facility. Therefore, we are not going to be able to open at this time. It is our plan to resume the program once officials deem it possible. We are still planning to hold a summer program and Kids Klub staff will provide more information over the coming weeks. The staff is definitely missing working with the kids and currently are posting videos of crafts, science projects, and readings on the Kids Klub YouTube channel and Facebook page. Feel free to check it out.
The Recreation District will continue to focus on keeping parks, trails, and open spaces available for public recreation at this time. We have closed amenities such as pavilions, public restrooms, pickleball courts, and sports fields, but the trails, parks, and open spaces themselves remain open. We are evaluating the use at our open facilities each week and as long as the public continues to practice social distancing standards, we will keep them open. If we find this is not happening, we will start closing additional facilities. The goal is to provide a safe recreation opportunity for the public, but we need your help in making sure everyone has the ability to recreate safely.
The Cañon City Area Recreation and Park District will continue to work hard to improve the quality of life for everyone in our community. We look forward to the day when we can resume programs and have a fun time together. If we all follow the current guidelines that day will be here sooner, rather than later.
Cañon City Area Recreation and Park District
Update: March 26, 2020
The Cañon City Area Recreation and Park District is working to comply with Governor Jared Polis’ Executive Order D 2020 17 – “Stay at Home Order”. We are going to keep your parks, open spaces, and trails open from dawn to dusk. The goal is to give the community an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and recreate responsibly. However, there are some features at your parks that will close immediately. They include:
• Softball/Baseball Fields
• Pickleball Courts
• Basketball Courts
• Community Room
Currently the dog park and archery range are open with the rest of your parks, trails, and open spaces. However, this is subject to change. If social distancing is not practiced by the users of theses facilities, we will be forced to close them as well. Please keep in mind there are some simple rules to follow.
• Practice social distancing rules of at least six feet while using the parks and trails. This might mean you have to walk in a single file line at times. If this is not possible then vacate the area and find a different park to recreate in or a different time.
• If you are showing any symptoms of COVID-19, do not use the facilities. Stay at home.
• Follow the CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene when using the parks or trails.
• There is NO organized group activities or recreation allowed at this time per the Stay-at-Home order.
• No large groups.
• Public restrooms are closed, so please be prepared before you leave home.
• Please leave no trace and throw away any and all trash in order to help out our maintenance staff.
On April 27, the state will be moving onto the “Safer at Home” phase. During this phase Coloradans will no longer be ordered to stay home, but are still strongly encouraged to do so. Vulnerable populations and seniors must continue staying home except for when it is absolutely necessary to leave. K-12 school districts and post-secondary institutions will continue to suspend normal in-person instruction until the end of the school year.
It’s important to note that there may be a fluctuation between the levels to recover from outbreaks, meaning that Colorado could return to the “Stay at Home” phase if there is a significant increase in cases or spread of COVID-19. If hot spots are determined in certain areas, counties may revert to the “Stay at Home” phase or additional protective measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.