Public Land Use Guidelines for SW Colorado Travel

Many of the exceptional recreational opportunities available in Southwest Colorado take place on public lands -- your lands to appreciate, preserve and protect. To ensure continued enjoyment of these recreational opportunities, please treat the land and other recreational users with respect. The following guidelines will be helpful when you enjoy the public lands in Southwestern Colorado:


  • Keep motorized vehicles on open roads;

  • Keep ATVs and motorcycles on trails marked for their use;

  • To limit erosion, never cut switchbacks when hiking on trails;

  • Don't camp, wash yourself or clean cooking utensils in or near streams or lakes;

  • Store food, garbage and other items with odors attractive to bears in a bear-resistant manner;

  • Be careful with fire. Put campfires completely out -- better yet, use a camp stove. Don't park hot vehicles over long, dry grass;

  • Pack out all your trash, including toilet paper;

  • Resist the temptation to pick wildflowers. Leave them for others to enjoy;

  • Do not disturb or remove archaeological or mining artifacts. They are protected by federal law;

  • Stay away from old mining structures. They are dangerously unstable and many are on privately owned inholdings;

  • Remember that motorized vehicles and mountain bikes are prohibited in designated Wilderness areas, such as the Weminuche, Lizard Head, and South San Juan Wildernesses;

  • Keep pets under control.
  • Contact:

    San Juan Public Lands Center
    San Juan National Forest
    San Juan Resource Area-Bureau of Land Management
    15 Burnett Court
    Durango, CO 81301
    (970) 247-4874
    Fax: (970) 385-1243

    Rio Grande National Forest
    1803 W. Highway 160
    Monte Vista, CO 81144
    (970) 852-5941
    Fax: (970) 852-6250

    Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre & Gunnison National Forests
    2250 Highway 50
    Delta, CO 81416
    (970) 874-6600
    Fax: (970) 874-6698

    Montrose Public Lands Center
    Uncompahgre Field Office
    Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area
    2465 S. Townsend Avenue
    Montrose, CO 81401
    (970) 240-5300
    For more information on how to volunteer for stewardship projects on your public lands contact:
    San Juan Mountains Association
    PO Box 2261
    Durango, CO 81301
    Kathe Hayes, Volunteer Coordinator