Public lands agencies to tourists: ‘Know before you go’ |

Public lands agencies to tourists: ‘Know before you go’

The death of a 21-year-old woman on May 19 in Rocky Mountain National Park came a day after a group of eight public land agencies in northern Colorado called NoCo PLACES 2050 released guidelines to help visitors plan for their trips.

The woman, Lydia Davidsmeier from Virginia, Illinois, died after she fell into Adams Falls on the west side of the park. Rocky Mountain National Park Public Affairs Officer Kyle Patterson said Davidsmeier went off-trail, slipped on a wet rock below the Adams Falls overlook and fell over the second falls.

“This is an extremely tragic incident that happened in the park,” Patterson said. “We continue to encourage park visitors to be cautious around fast-moving water.”

Visitor safety represents one goal of the #KnowBeforeYouGo preparation list, which also helps visitors preserve public lands.

The agencies expect visitations to their trails to increase over the summer and especially during Memorial Day weekend. To help visitors prepare for their trips, each agency has a page on their website with current information about trails, fire bans, advisories and more.

NoCo PLACES 2050’s preparation tips include:

  • Anticipate what you will need for your activity and know your limits
  • Know which public lands allow dogs on trails, and which don’t
  • Know when leashes are required, and always pack out waste
  • Know how to handle wildlife encounters
  • Plan for where you will park and have alternatives
  • Stay on the trail
  • Be careful with fire
  • Know and follow all rules and regulations

Grand County residents and anyone visiting Rocky Mountain National Park should also make reservations part of their planning process, as the park will use a timed entry permit system from May 27 to October 10.

The park will offer two kinds of permits: one that allows access to the Bear Lake Road Corridor and one that does not.

According to Rocky Mountain National Park’s website, the permit system will differ from a similar one introduced last year. The park started using crowd management programs in 2016 to handle an increase in visitors, which reached 4.6 million in 2019.

Entry permit reservations for May 27 through June 30 are available now on the website, and reservations for later months will open a month in advance — July reservations open June 1, August reservations open July 1 and so on.


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