Hot Spot

South Colony Lakes Revisit | July 14-17, 2022

Westcliffe, CO

The South Colony Lakes, perched high in the San Isabel National Forest in southern Colorado, see a variety of recreation-related impacts from a wide array of user groups. The largest portion of these users is made up of those looking to hike one of several 14ers, or peaks over 14,000 feet, found in the Sangre de Cristo range. The South Colony Basin, which gives easy access to three of the peaks, sees impacts from improper disposal of human waste, damage to vegetation from the proliferation of campsites, and water resource impacts. South Colony Lakes was previously selected as a Hot Spot in 2018, and with the increase in visitation all over the state of Colorado, is looking for some additional support.

*South Colony Lakes is located on the ancestral lands of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) and Cheyenne and possibly other tribes*


  • 126 people educated
  • 3 educational programs over 4 days

As a Hot Spot Revisit, the Leave No Trace team focused primarily on changes the South Colony Lakes Basin has seen since the 2018 activation. Due to more visitors to South Colony Lakes Basin, the impacts from visitation have increased. Opportunities to address continued impacts include development of guidelines specific to 14ers, additional Leave No Trace training for Forest Service staff as well as guides and outfitters, and bolstering minimum impact messaging at trailhead kiosks.

Your donation helps bring Leave No Trace solutions to these impacted areas.

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