Leaf no trace, reminder to be mindful while admiring fall foliage

A high-mountain sunset adds to fall color near Edwards, near Vail. | Source: AP Photo /...
A high-mountain sunset adds to fall color near Edwards, near Vail. | Source: AP Photo / Colorado Tourism Office.(KALB)
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 1:02 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Aspen leaves are beginning to change colors, bringing crowds to wooded areas across Colorado. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife want to remind the public to peep responsibly and be mindful with conservation when recreating.

“It’s one of the busiest times of the year at our park, as we head into peak leaf-peeping season,” said Bronwyn Phillips, administrative assistant at Golden Gate Canyon State Park. “We ask that people plan ahead, watch out for people and wildlife crossing slowly on roads and park in designated parking areas to avoid damaging vegetation.”

While enjoying the outdoors, it’s important to practice the Care for Colorado - Leave No Trace principles.

Know before you go:

  • If parking is full, move to the next designated parking area.
  • Use CPW’s Park Finder to explore Colorado’s 43 state parks and learn about possible trail closures.
  • Have a backup plan for potential trail, road, or parking closures.

Stick To Trails:

  • While it’s tempting to want to find a place with less people or a unique spot for photographs, it’s important for Colorado’s plants, trails, and visitors that you stay on trail.
  • Avoid trails undergoing maintenance, with vegetation projects or closed for wildlife reasons. Help keep our flora and fauna healthy for future generations.

Leave it as you find it:

  • During busy season, only park in designated parking areas.
  • Leave plants, rocks, acorns, leaves, rocks, and historical items as you find them so others can experience the same joy of discovery.
  • Refrain from carving or hacking trees and plants, as it may damage them and impact the experience for future visitors.

Keep Wildlife Wild:

  • To keep wildlife - and you - safe, don’t feed or approach wildlife.
  • Wildlife is on the move this time of year, so slow down and use caution.
  • Remain bear aware. Bears are hunting for food for hibernation.
  • Conflicts between moose and people are increasing, maintain a safe distance from wildlife.
  • Keep dogs leashed when enjoying dog-friendly trails and be sure to pack up waste to dispose in trash cans.

“We want everyone to have a great time experiencing the vibrant colors and the natural wonders our beautiful state has to offer,” said Phillips. “No matter where you plan to peep, please be respectful of our natural resources, park staff, volunteers and your fellow recreationists out searching for Colorado gold.”