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After an abysmal 2020 during the beginning of the pandemic, tourism in Colorado has rebounded, and Chaffee County is receiving its share of outdoor recreation enthusiasts. As Chaffee County heads into the final long weekend of the summer, outdoor recreation, in particular, is booming in the county.

Those looking for a dispersed campsite might find their favorite spot already taken, but they should still be able to find a spot if they know where to look.  The Chaffee County Rec Taskforce documented more than 1,000 sites in the county, the majority of them free and dispersed.

Campers this year might be focused on all the people and vehicles sharing their public lands, but if they look closely they may also notice fewer fire rings, less trash, and more volunteers. Many of these campers come to unplug and get away from technology. The Rec Adopters is one of several programs working on conservation projects designed to offer long-term protection of the county’s natural resources. But the Chaffee Rec Adopters program takes a different approach from top-down resource protection; it works from the bottom up.

It was created as part of the Chaffee Recreation Plan. The Rec Adopters is centered around the Campsite Collection app that allows volunteers (and others) to locate dispersed campsites, report issues and problems to land management staff, and make site improvements like trash clean-up and fence repairs. All the data collected is stored as a way to track campsite impacts over time.

The Rec Adopters program is open to all, either in individuals or organized groups. The next organized volunteer days will collect data on campsites in the Clear Creek drainage on:

  • Tuesday, September 14 and
  • Saturday, September 25 

To sign up and for more information, contact 

Free Slash Pick-Up Events

In an effort to reduce wildfire risk along the wildland-urban interface, there are four free slash haul-away events scheduled for Chaffee County rural residential subdivisions. Chaffee Chips is a free service that will take away slash – including brush, small branches, and trees less than 6 inches in diameter – from residents’ property. For more specifics, visit Chaffee Chips. The event details are as follows: 

  • Game Trail Estates: August 27 to August 29
  • Mesa Antero Estates, North and South: September 17 to September 19
  • Shavano Front at Weldon Creek, Eureka Ranch, Hayden Springs and Eagle Moon: October 1 to October 3
  • Methodist Mountain’s East Side: October 15 to October 17