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Hiking Bob: Update on Barr Camp, Pike National Forest, RMNP and more 

click to enlarge Barr Camp will make some limited services available on June 8. - BOB FALCONE
  • Bob Falcone
  • Barr Camp will make some limited services available on June 8.

Some COVID-19 restrictions are easing and some places are beginning to re-open, so it's time for some updates:

In my previous column regarding the detour at the top of Pikes Peak, it was noted that Barr Camp, the popular rest stop approximately half-way up the Barr Trail was closed.  That will change on June 8, when Barr Camp will make some limited services available.  Hikers will be able to use bathrooms, the grounds and creek will be open to hikers, and  curbside service of pre-packaged snacks will be available.  Camping will still not be permitted on the grounds before at least the end of June, and access may be closed at any time. Hikers are encouraged to check the Barr Camp website prior to starting a hike.
On May 29, the U.S. Forest Service announced that there will be a phased re-opening of facilities in the Pike and San Isabel National Forests and Cimarron and Comanche Grasslands. Although some facilities are re-opening, stage 1 fire restrictions are in place. This means that among other things, campfires are not permitted except in fire rings or grates in developed recreation sites.  For more information, visit the USFS website.

Rocky Mountain National Park reopened on May 27. It was also announced that a reservation system will be in place starting June 4, and a reservation fee will apply, even for annual pass holders. It's a bit complicated, and things may change, so your best bet is to go to the RMNP website for details.

Meanwhile, the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument visitors center and parking lot remain closed, but the Hornbeck and Barksdale trailheads are open. Great Sand Dunes National Park will start a phased re-opening on June 3 and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park will re-open some campgrounds on June 1. Mesa Verde National Park started a phased re-opening on May 24, while not much has changed at Colorado National Monument. Dinosaur National Monument will allow river trips and re-open campgrounds and allow back-country camping starting on June 7.

In Utah, the ever popular Arches and Canyonlands National Parks started a limited re-opening on May 29, with most facilities, such as visitors centers, remaining closed.

Also, most counties in southern Colorado are under some type of fire restriction, including Douglas, Teller and El Paso counties.

Be Good. Do Good Things. Be Safe.

Bob Falcone is a retired firefighter, photographer, hiker, business owner and author of Hiking Bob's Tips, Tricks and Trails, available via his website. He has lived in Colorado Springs for almost 28 years. Follow him on Twitter (@hikingbob), Facebook (@hikingguide), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO) or visit his website (Hikingbob.com). E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Bob: info@hikingbob.com.

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