GOLDEN, Colo. – Issues with park fees not been paid, waste being left behind, and the igniting of illegal fires forced Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials to turn backcountry camping at Golden Gate Canyon State Park into a reservation only system this week.
As of Wednesday, backcountry campers will have to call or reserve a spot online through CPW’s website. In the past, the park’s four backcountry shelters and 20 backcountry tent sites could be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Backcountry camping provides a more primitive and somewhat unique camping experience, but with that comes responsibilities the user must assume to take care of the land,” CPW officials said, explaining why they had to move the park to a reservation only system.
Part of that decision, officials said, was to also help promote Leave No Trace principles in order for the park to achieve Gold Standard Site designation.
CPW is reminding visitors that fires are prohibited in the backcountry and is also urging those wanting to camp to adhere to Leave No Trace principles: Know before you go, stick to trails and camp overnight right, pack out your trash, properly dispose of it and pick up all dog waste, leave it as you find it, be careful with stoves - no fires allowed, keep wildlife wild - use bear boxes, and share our trails and manage your pet.
Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-244-5613 or online at www.cpwshop.com. The backcountry campsite fee is $18. A vehicle pass is also required in addition to the camping fee, officials said.