Blue Lakes, Colorado Another Leave No Trace Hot Spot Success

Ridgway, CO: Our recent Hot Spot at Blue Lakes in Southwest Colorado was a huge success in addressing human waste issues, illegal campfires, and vegetation damage. Learn more about this Hot Spot below.

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Watch this video to learn how you can protect Blue Lakes on your next visit:

Practice these Leave No Trace tips on your next visit:

  • Campfires are banned to protect sensitive alpine vegetation and trees. Keep warm and do your cooking on a portable camp stove.
  • Don't let Toilet Paper become Colorado's state flower. Pack out all toilet paper and feminine hygiene products. Bury your solid human waste in a 6-8 inch deep hole, at least 200 feet (35 big steps) away from any water sources. Urinate, wash dishes, and bathe at least 200 feet away from all water sources as well. 
  • Trail Widening and Switchback Cutting destroys fragile vegetation and causes trail erosion and degradation. Protect Colorado wildflowers by sticking to all trails and hiking single file. 
  • Choose Campsites in areas with no living vegetation and at least 100 feet (35 big steps) away from water. Choosing sites with no vegetation helps prevent further vegetation loss. Camping away from water helps prevent water contamination and preserves the wilderness experience for others. 
  • Register For Your Hike for free at the trailhead. Registration data helps obtain more funding for trail maintenance, and can be used to locate you in case of emergency. 
  • Pets Are Allowed at Blue Lakes, but for the safety of wildlife, your pet, and other hikers, keep your dog on leash for the duration of the hike. 

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Enjoy Your Visit to Blue Lakes, and Remember to Leave No Trace!

Leave No Trace's Donielle Stevens and Aaron Hussmann are part of the 2018 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Eagles Nest Outfitters, Deuter, Thule, Taxa, and Klean Kanteen.