Waldo Canyon backcountry opens, but recreation still limited

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service has released updates on recreating at Waldo Canyon, which was ravaged by a fire in 2012.

The Colorado Springs Gazette reported Wednesday that the beloved trail accessible from U.S. 24 will remain closed due to safety and parking concerns, but the backcountry is open for business.

Evan Burks, who is overseeing recreation at the Pikes Peak Ranger District, says backcountry hikers should be prepared for a “bushwhacking” experience. The Forest Service’s new order lifts parking restrictions on sections of Rampart Range Road, allowing more people to enter from the road.

Nonprofit Rocky Mountain Field Institute is working with the Ranger District to secure funding for more recreation moving forward. Nonprofit Director Jennifer Peterson estimated the recreation planning process to end in early 2020.

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