Modern Manners for Trail Users, Plus Outdoor Recreation Tips
Published May 22, 2020
Silverthorne recently announced the reopening of local parks and the State of Colorado has started a phased reopening of campgrounds. Summit County trails remain open to the public, but we all are encouraged to do our part to self monitor physical distancing. With Memorial Day weekend upon us we’ll likely see an uptick in trail traffic, so now’s the time for outdoor enthusiasts to brush up on etiquette to keep us all safe over the holiday weekend and in the weeks ahead.
- Plan ahead. To make the most of your trek, advanced planning is required. First and foremost, if you feel sick or have any symptoms, stay home. Avoid crowded and congested areas. Make sure the trail is open and check any special requirements for the surrounding community. Keep in mind that Colorado remains in the Safer at Home phase and the Governor is advising Colorado residents to travel no more than 10 miles from home and to keep group activities to 10 people or less.
- What to bring. As Colorado Parks and Wildlife advises for camping, “plan as if you’re going to the moon.” Pack all of the necessary food and supplies (including a first aid kit, sunscreen, bugspray, etc.) you’ll need from home so you don’t need to stop and shop on the way or near the trailhead. You should also bring a mask or face covering, and remember that in Summit County face coverings are required inside in places open to the public and outside when 6 feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- Where to go. As Coloradans, hitting our favorite trails is second nature to us. But now may be the time to explore new options based on trail capacity. Be flexible in plans and have a back-up option in mind. If the parking lot is crowded or the trailhead looks cluttered, go elsewhere. In Summit County, cars parked illegally at trailheads may be ticketed or towed. Avoid trails that are too narrow or steep so you can safely step off to the side if needed. Some of our favorite local options are hiking to Lower Cataract Lake with the family, watching for wildflowers up Ptarmigan Peak, and for a trail less traveled, hiking up to Mahan Lake. For a full list of Silverthorne hikes visit silverthorne.org/discover-silverthorne/silverthorne-trails.
- When to go. Like many of our favorite recreation options, avoid peak times like the weekends, and especially midday on the weekends. Plan to go early or go late to maximize your solitude on the trail.
- Mind your Ps and Qs. It’s more important than ever to mind your trail manners:
- Walk single file so others can safely pass you.
- Keep at least 6 feet away from others.
- Keep moving to avoid trail jams.
- Make noise to alert others you’re coming up behind them.
- Yield to other trail users. Not sure who has the right of way? Check out this great article from REI.
- Step off the trail. According to experts in this article from Outside magazine it’s okay for now.
- Keep your pets in line with these tips from the Summit Daily.
- As always, practice @leavenotrace.
According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the state is conducting a phased reopening of campgrounds, beginning at 50% capacity. All campers must make reservations in advance, and they’re urged to bring all food and supplies from their home areas and not go shopping on the way to, or near, campgrounds. It is recommended that you only camp with members of your own household. Full details can be found on their website. You can also find alerts for national parks by state here. You can also find some great camping tips from the Denver Post here.
Silverthorne park amenities, with the exception of playgrounds and indoor warming huts, have reopened. Park users are asked to adhere to the following rules:
- Be courteous to others.
- Maintain 6 feet of physical distance.
- Face coverings must be worn when 6 feet of separation cannot be maintained.
- Don’t gather with more than 10 people.
- Use parks at your own risk.
- Recreate near your home or at less crowded parks when possible.
- Make reservations for court use at silverthorne.org/parks.
More information can be found on our blog here.