Know Before You Go

Clear Creek County, Colorado


Visit Clear Creek County Responsibly...

Know Before You Go

With summer nearly in full effect we wanted to take this opportunity to share a few things to Know Before You Go when visiting the Rocky Mountains and the Great Outdoors!

Be sure to plan ahead when visiting public lands, know the specific conditions and regulations, and bring what’s necessary for a safe experience.

  • Anticipate what you will need for your activity and know your limits. Local public land agencies continue to see sustained high numbers of rescues. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Wear appropriate clothing for cold, wet, or changing weather conditions and look at the weather forecast and trail information for your specific destination. Tell people where you’re going and when you plan to return. Make sure to bring food and water.
  • Know which public lands allow dogs on trails, and which don’t.  Know when leashes are required, and always pack out waste. Pack extra water for your pup; dogs can suffer from heat stroke just as humans do. Dog waste does not biodegrade and negatively impacts water quality. Be prepared to pack out all dog waste when receptacles aren’t available.

  • Know how to handle wildlife encounters. Understanding how to coexist with wildlife is an important part of a safe recreation experience. Be aware if you will be visiting areas with wildlife and learn ahead of time how to safely manage encounters for you and the animal. Always keep your distance.

  • Plan for where you will park and have alternatives. Be flexible and have an alternate plan in case the parking lot is full. Look at park information ahead of time to see whether a reservation is required. Take shuttles to popular recreation areas and check parking lot cameras if available. Be aware that illegally parked vehicles will be ticketed.

  • Stay on the trail. Walk through mud to avoid widening the trail and damaging resources. If you need to step off trail to let others pass, avoid stepping on vegetation. Help protect sensitive wildlife habitats by staying on trail and out of wildlife closure areas.

  • Be careful with fire. Know that a fire can start from the smallest spark or prolonged heat on dry tinder. Remember to check local fire bans or restrictions.

  • Know and follow all rules and regulations. Review agency rules and regulations before heading to the trailhead as individual areas may have special restrictions or guidelines. Note that higher elevations can still have snow this time of year, and some roads may still be closed. For areas or activities requiring reservations, check far in advance.

Download the following trail apps developed with support from local municipalities, counties, the State of Colorado, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Great Outdoors Colorado:

The group of public land agencies who participated in this joint release remind visitors to view critical advisories and trail maps BEFORE planning visits to public lands:

Clear Creek County is the gateway to the Rocky Mountains. Located just west of Denver along Interstate 70, Clear Creek has 396 square miles of public lands to explore, as well as four mountain peaks above 14,000 feet. Clear Creek is comprised of charming mountains towns Idaho Springs, Downieville, Lawson, Empire, Georgetown, and Silver Plume, which are all along the I-70 corridor. Learn more about Clear Creek County here.

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