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Stay Inside Colorado -- Colorado County Bans Backcountry Activity Due To COVID-19 Outbreak

As social distancing has been called for as an effective way to combat the spread of the Coronavirus, many skiers and riders have been heading out to the backcountry figuring they would be alone. Though not a bad idea in theory, or in practice for a time, it would seem that more and more folks are heading to the backcountry causing officials from one Colorado county to ban backcountry visitation alongside the statewide closure of ski mountains.

"The San Juan County Sheriff’s Department issues a stern warning to all backcountry recreation users. The San Juan County Sheriff’s Department is prohibiting recreationalists from backcountry activities in the County due to the limited Medical, Emergency and Search and Rescue Services available currently due to the Coronavirus COVID 19 crisis." - San Juan County Press Release

The San Juan Country Sheriff's Department has issued an order prohibiting all but essential services in San Juan County and has stated that U.S. Highway 550 is open to drive-through traffic and San Juan County residents only. Any vehicles found parked on the passes, and on country roads not registered in San Juan County will be subject to fines and towing.

Backcountry and uphill access skiing and snowboarding was a welcome alternative to the abrupt end to the ski season. In many states, ski mountains were shut down as one of the preventative measures against the CODVID-19 outbreak. However, it seems that far too many skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts are starting to head to the backcountry, inadvertently defeating the social distancing idea and closing down the little bit of skiing and riding anyone had left.

Though there has not been a report of other counties following suit at the time this is being written, it can be seen elsewhere. In the following video taken near Loveland Ski Area, which is in Clear Creek, CO, shows how many people are piling on top of each other to get out onto the mountain.


As the need for social distancing continues, it may be commonplace for local and statewide authorities to put restrictions and bans into place in other parts of Colorado, or even the United States as a whole, to help mitigate these kinds of clusters of people.

Thumbnail Credit: Mayor Parker the Snow Dog/FB

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