MONTE VISTA, Colo., June 26, 2017 – July 4th is fast approaching and with it the busiest month of the year on the Rio Grande National Forest. The following are a few tips to ensure your visit is fun and safe.

Fire danger ranges from moderate to high in the upper Rio Grande, with the northern part of the San Luis Valley being the driest. Currently, there are no fire restrictions, but visitors are reminded to be careful with fire and never leave a campfire unattended.

Please leave your fireworks at home. Use of fireworks is prohibited on all national forests.

Forest roads are extra busy this time of year. Please drive slow, stay to the right when traveling around corners and watch out for mountain bikers, equestrians, hikers and livestock.

Many people visit the forest to get away from their busy lives and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature. Please be considerate of other visitors while camping on the forest by keeping noise levels to a minimum, especially at night.

The Rio Grande National Forest starts at 7,800 feet in elevation with some peaks reaching over 14,000 feet high. Remember to take it slow and drink plenty of water when visiting from lower elevations.

Thunderstorms are always a possibility in the mountains in the summer. It is recommended that visitors avoid traveling above tree line or in open meadows during thunderstorms.

More than 600,000 acres of spruce forest has been infested on the Rio Grande National Forest by spruce beetles and more than 88,000 acres of forest burned in the West Fork Complex. Visitors are advised not to camp beneath dead trees and avoid beetle-killed and burned forests during windy conditions.

July is a wonderful month to visit the Rio Grande National Forest. Ensure your visit is great by staying safe and being courteous to your fellow visitors.

For more information about recreation on the Rio Grande National Forest, see Also, you can follow the Rio Grande National Forest on Facebook at


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