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
According to Samantha Gooch, Recreation Planner for the US Forest Service Pikes Peak Ranger District: “As of June 1st, our [Forest Service] campgrounds, picnic areas and reservoirs are open. Our 2 group campgrounds are not opening this season.”
Pike San Isabel National Forest and Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands are under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions.
The following are prohibited on all National Forest System lands in this region:
1) Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire. 36 CFR § 261.52(a). This includes
charcoal barbecues and grills.
EXCEPT: Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates
within developed recreation sites and the use of portable stoves, lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum,
pressurized liquid fuel or a fully enclosed (sheepherder type) stove with a 1⁄4” spark arrester type screen is
2) Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area
at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials. 36 CFR § 261.52(d).
3) Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester properly installed and in effective
working order, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher kept with the operator, and one round point shovel
with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use. 36 CFR § 261.52(h).
4) Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in
diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher. 36 CFR § 261.52(i).
5) Using an explosive. 36 CFR § 261.52(b).
Pursuant to 36 C.F.R. § 261.50 (e), the following persons are exempt from specified Prohibitions of this order:
1) Persons with a valid Forest Service permit or contract specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission may be eligible for an exemption from Prohibitions #1, #3, #4, and #5. Any exemption must be
applied for in writing, include an appropriate mitigation plan and must be authorized in writing by the appropriate Forest Service official. The authorization must be in the physical possession of the person or
persons undertaking the exempted activities.
2) Any federal, state or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or fire fighting force in the performance of an official duty is exempt from Prohibitions #1, #3, #4, #5 and #6
To know before you go, check out the Forest Service Interactive Fire Restriction Map
You can find all current alerts and closures for Pike and San Isabel National Forests Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands (PSICC) at this LINK
COVID-19 Update – 6/4/20 1:40 p.m.
Update 6/4/2020: Many Colorado Parks and Wildlife visitor centers, service centers and CPW offices are opening with limited access to the public on Friday, June 5. Front desk areas and staffed drive-up windows will open to customers with social distancing and safety at the forefront. Individual location hours may vary, so please call for hours before visiting your nearest office or park. Restrictions and closures remain subject to change.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife campgrounds – including cabins, yurts and group camping for groups of 10 or fewer – and SWAs are now open to camping. The check-in time for all yurt and cabin reservations is now 4:00 p.m.
There are exceptions in counties with remaining health orders or areas remaining closed by county request. For commonly asked questions, including details on available SWA camping, please review our Camping FAQ. 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.As camping becomes available, playgrounds, picnic areas, group areas and designated swim areas at Colorado’s state parks remain closed until further notice.
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 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
Updated June 4, 2020
To help combat the spread of 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. Updates based on the amended State Public Health Order 20-28.
• Playgrounds and pavilions will re-open for use with no more than 10 people at a time.
• Organized recreational youth or adult league sports may resume activities with no more than 25 players. Parents may attend youth sports activities but must remain 6 feet apart from non-household members. Spectators are strongly discouraged for adult sports. Permit required through El Paso County Parks for organized sports.
• Rainbow Falls Historic Site is open Friday – Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Park users are highly encouraged to practice social distancing of 6 feet or more and wear masks while enjoying the County parks, trails, and open spaces.
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.
Find more information HERE
- City Hall – Open, recommended remote contact
- Memorial Hall – (private events 10 or smaller only)
- Aquatics and Recreation Center – Closed until further notice
- Board Meetings and Commissions – TBD https://manitousprings.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/MeetingView.aspx?MeetingID=338&MinutesMeetingID=-1&doctype=Agenda
- The Incline – Closed until further notice
- Playgrounds – Closed
- Basketball and Tennis Courts – Closed to groups, open to individuals and families
Find more information HERE
Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, & Cultural Services
Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Administration Building and the Sports Office reopened to the public on June 1, 2020. Members of the public entering the above-listed city facilities will be required to undergo temperature and symptom checks as well as to wear a mask if they are medically able. Masks will be available for those who do not have one. Employees in this building are subject to the same entrance procedures.
Parks, trails and open spaces are open per the governor’s Safer-at-Home order(link is external). 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:
- All City playgrounds reopened to the public on June 5, 2020. Only 25 people should use these areas at a time. Outdoor sport courts, fields and skate parks are open for up to 25 people at a time.
- Wear a face covering when possible.
- 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, during and after 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 members of other households at all times. 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.
- Bring water.
For the current status of various facilities, programs and services, please visit the respective web pages.
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 popular City parks. 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(link is external). 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
Parks and Recreation
COVID-19 Response FAQ
When will the Aquatic Center reopen?
We have developed a gradual reopen plan for the Woodland Aquatic Center, and are waiting for approval of this plan. We will post this plan on social media, this web page, and announce our reopening plan via email as soon as we are able.
Are you still going to have Youth Baseball League and Adult Softball?
We are have already started Youth Baseball and Adult Softball League on June 1. The season will end in the second week of July. We have put together guidelines for youth sports which include modified game rules, sanitation processes, and social distancing. Register for summer camps and fall soccer here.
Can I still register for Youth Baseball League?
Baseball has already begun and registration is closed.
Are you still having summer classes and programs?
We are offering some classes, camps, and programs starting in June. These including youth boxing and art camps, adult fitness, adult art, and family dog training! You can go to our registration website to see everything we have available for Summer 2020.
Are the city offices open?
Yes. The city offices will open to the public beginning May 4, observing a 6 foot social distancing requirement. We are encouraging visitors to set appointments and to wear masks. Remember, we can always help you with questions and registrations via phone or email during business hours.
Are the tennis courts open? What about the dog park and the basketball courts?
The tennis courts, dog park, and basketball courts are open. Please follow all social distance guidelines.
Is Challenger Soccer Camp still going to happen?
Challenger Soccer is still planning to host a camp, however the date has been moved to the Week of July 6. If you have any questions regarding Challenger Soccer Camp, please contact them directly.
I am a three-month or annual pass holder at the Woodland Aquatic Center. Are you going to add the months you were closed to my annual/three month pass?
Yes. We will add the months back to your three month or annual pass after we have firm reopen date. If you have a pass that is set to expire before we reopen please do not worry. Again, we will add that time back and your pass will have a new expiration date.
I was registered for a class, program, or camp prior to closure. It was cancelled, or I am still not comfortable with attending. Do I get a refund or credit on my account for those cancelled activities?
Yes. We have reached out to you via email if you were registered for any of our classes, programs, or camps. You have the option to receive a credit on your account or a check refund by mail. If you have questions about this, please contact us. (Parks and Recreation – 719 687 5225, Woodland Aquatic Center 719 686 6858)
Do my Punch Passes at the Woodland Aquatic Center have an expiration date?
No, Punch Passes no longer have expiration dates.
What If I previously had a Punch Pass at the Woodland Aquatic Center that expired with visits left?
If you previously had a Punch Pass and were told in the past that it expired, these cards have been reactivated.
Am I allowed to go to Memorial Park, Meadow Wood Sports Complex, or any of the other parks in Woodland Park?
Yes. We encourage you to partake in outdoor recreation in a safe and responsible way. When visiting our parks, here are a few guidelines:
- Bathrooms at Memorial Park will open on Monday, June 8. Bathrooms at Bergstrom Park are already open.
- Maintain 6 feet of social distance.
- Do not gather in groups of 10 or more.
- Travel for recreational purposes should be limited to your own community like your county of residence or traveling no more than about 10 miles.
- Stay home if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
- Playgrounds, restrooms, and shelters throughout our parks remain closed. Prepare accordingly.
- Do not share equipment when participating in recreational activities.
Cripple Creek Parks and Recreation
Fitness Center Soft Opening
Pickleball Court Rules under COVID-19 Restrictions
Details on the Closure of the Pool for 2020
At this time of year, the Cañon City Area Recreation and Park District would normally be gearing up for a busy summer of activities and programs for people of all ages. This however is a year like no other with COVID-19 concerns. Like the rest of the community, we have been forced to make changes. Unfortunately, because of these concerns, the Recreation District staff made the recommendation to the Board of Directors at the May 12th board meeting to close the R.C. Icabone Swimming Pool for the 2020 season. Please keep in the mind the pool is not and never has been 100% sustainable. Like many other communities, it is viewed as a service and is subsidized by the government agency who runs it.
The closure of the pool was not a decision taken lightly and there were several factors taken into consideration. We consulted aquatics experts within the Colorado Parks and Recreation Association, the American Red Cross, local department of health officials, and other swimming pool operators to get as must information as possible. In a best-case scenario we would not be able to open the pool until the last week of June, based on the variance request submitted by Fremont County to the State of Colorado. There is no guarantee we could open at that time depending on future social distancing requirements. This would drastically shorten our season and create issues with generating revenue.
Then we come to programming options for the pool, which is our main driver of revenue. In speaking with experts, open swim would most likely not be allowed. If it were, we would have to significantly reduce the number of people in the pool. This also means private party rentals would not be possible due to social distancing guidelines. The District would be able to offer lap swim, but only one person, per lane which means no more than six people at a time. Swim lessons could be held but based on our conversations with the American Red Cross we are looking at a significant reduction in the number of participants at less than 22% of normal capacity. Additionally, a parent would have to be in the pool with the child, while the instructor is on the pool deck. Also, the District partners with local gyms to offer workout times, and that number of participants would be reduced. With no open swim, we would not have any concessions revenue. When you combine all of these different issues the District is looking at a significant reduction in programming revenue.
Many of the expenses on the other hand will remain the same. Yes, there would be a reduction in staff without open swim and reduced swim lessons. Yet the existing staff savings will be offset in part by needing additional staff for cleaning and sanitizing. The mechanical systems would have to operate at normal levels, including water, heating, filtration, chemical treatment, water circulation, and sewer. These expenses would not change regardless of attendance. Simply put the expenses would reduce slightly, but the revenues will absolutely not come close to needed levels.
The Recreation District does subsidize the pool on an annual basis, but with the current situation that amount could be easily more than $50,000 for a shortened season. The funds are simply not there at this time. When you add in the fact we can’t guarantee the pool will even be allowed to open, District staff felt the best option was to not open the pool in 2020. This was not a decision we took lightly.
This decision will only impact the 2020 season. The plan is to open in 2021. This does not change the fact that the R.C. Icabone Swimming Pool is on its last leg. After meeting with engineers and consultants, the pool needs to be replaced and not repaired. The cost of that will be in the millions of dollars. The issues of this aging facility are not going away, and we still must come together as a community to determine how we want to solve this problem.
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.
- Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from recreators and fellow employees, except in cases where it is unsafe to maintain that distance.
- Wear face coverings as much as possible, especially during staging and disembarking operations. Where safe, wear face coverings during trip operations.
- Implement symptom monitoring protocols (including workplace temperature monitoring and symptom screening questions) where possible and encourage sick employees to use the CDPHE Symptom Tracker.
- Employees who have had close contact with a person who has COVID-19 symptoms should not come to work for 14 days after exposure and get tested.
- Employees who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms must not come to work and get tested.
- Employees who develop COVID-19 symptoms while at work should immediately notify their supervisor and be separated from others, sent home, and referred to state or company support services and get tested.
- Conduct staging operations, such as customer check-ins and end-of-trip operations, outdoors with members of different households spaced at least 6 feet apart.
- Provide contactless payment or prepayment options whenever possible
- Encourage reservations, and preferably require reservations, if feasible. This will aid in notification efforts in case there is an exposure to COVID-19.
- Limit the number of people inside a facility to no more than 10 at one time, at a maximum of 50% occupancy, maintaining 6 feet between parties, or follow retail or restaurant guidance where applicable.
- Post signs for employees and recreators outlining good hygiene and safety measures being taken. Signs should include easy-to-interpret graphics and be in languages customers will understand. (CDC examples)
- Encourage hand washing. Direct customers to places where they can wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
- Limit smaller vehicles/crafts (jeeps, rafts) to up to two household units and up to 10 people, not including guides. (A household unit is a family or group that lives together.) Where a distance of 6 feet can be ensured between household units, more than two households per vehicle/craft are permitted.
- Disinfect all equipment used by participants , as well as equipment used commonly by other recreators in between each trip (including paddles, P.F.D.s, rafts, jeep/bus/train seats, saddles, handles/handlebars). (CDC guidance)
- Vehicle windows should be kept open at all times when transporting patrons during tours. If inclement weather means extended time in an enclosed vehicle, then the tour should be rescheduled.
- Curtail ancillary services, such as food preparation, or adjust practices to limit human-to-human contact and contact with shared items.
- Competitive events such as races and endurance events are allowed as long as social distancing and limitations on group size can be maintained, including implementation of staggered start times, efforts to prevent gatherings at starts and finishes, so that no more than 10 people are gathered at a time.
- When possible, avoid using grocery stores, gas stations etc. in the communities you visit to prevent the spread of COVID-19 across communities. Secure food, water, gas, and any other needed supplies in your home community.
- Maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet from members of other households at all times, except in cases where it is unsafe to maintain that distance.
- Wear face coverings during check-in, staging, transportation to and from activity if in a shared vehicle, as well as during end-of-trip disembarking activities.
- Follow company guidelines on whether/what kind of face cover to safely use during trips. Check local regulations before travel.
- Bring hand sanitizers or soap and water..
- If you or anyone in your party is sick, stay home and rebook. For COVID-19, understand how long you need to quarantine (if exposed) or isolate (if ill) before you rebook. covid19.colorado.gov/covid-19-in-colorado/about-covid-19/isolation-and-quarantine
Large-scale facilities need local approval
Because of the unique environments of large scale facilities, they require
- Scenic trains should submit plans for safe operation to all Local Public Health Agencies in the counties in which they operate for approval. If approved by all relevant counties, they may run with members of different households sitting at least 6 feet apart per car, and they should have appropriate sanitation and mitigation measures in place.
- Ski resorts may open on-mountain and lift/gondola operations to provide access to outdoor recreation (lift access for downhill mountain biking, lift sightseeing activities, climbing walls, mountain coasters, ropes courses, adventure parks, zip lines, etc.) if they develop plans for safe operation and secure approval from the Local Public Health Agencies in the counties in which they operate.
- Outdoor recreation entertainment activities at stand-alone sites for ziplines, ropes courses, outdoor artificial climbing walls, or adventure centers not affiliated with ski resorts may operate if they develop plans for safe operation and secure approval from the Local Public Health Authorities in the counties in which they operate.