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Rawah Wilderness Information

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The following regulations apply within the Rawah Wilderness:

1. Possessing or using any motorized or mechanized equipment, including chain saw, bicycle, motorcycle, hang glider, or cart is prohibited. This includes game carts. Primitive methods are a basic part of the wilderness experience.

2. No camping or campfires within 200 feet of any lake, stream, or trail, or within a quarter-mile (1,320 feet or 440 yards) of Blue or Hang Lakes. This regulation is designed to protect water quality and fragile wet areas, provide for solitude, and allow heavily used areas to recover. Wilderness rangers enforce these camping restrictions.

3. No campfires within designated Alpine Closure Zones. Chemically fueled stoves (white gas, propane, kerosene, alcohol, etc.) may be used within the Alpine Closure Zones.

4. Pets must be restrained on a hand-held leash at all times. The goal of this restriction is to prevent harassment of wildlife or disturbance of other wilderness users and their property. Hunters are exempted from this leash law when lawfully hunting.

5. Group size is limited to a combination of 12 people and livestock. The impacts of people and stock multiply in large groups. Smaller groups help to promote the feeling of solitude.

6. Hobbling, tethering, or allowing livestock to graze within 200 feet of any lake, stream, or trail is prohibited. With the goal of protecting water quality and fragile wet areas, this restriction also provides for solitude. Pack stock users should be careful not to allow their stock to graze in re-vegetation sites undergoing recovery. Tying or tethering pack stock to live trees is also prohibited.

7. Pack stock is prohibited on Blue Lake Trail 959 and within the Blue Lake Closure Zone from May 15 through September 15. Pack stock may not stay overnight within the Blue Lake Closure Zone from September 16 through May 14.

Roosevelt National Forest Regulations

In addition to the above regulations and restrictions specific to the Rawah Wilderness, the following regulations and restrictions are applicable to National Forest lands within and adjacent to the wilderness:

1. National Forest land in Colorado and Wyoming is closed to the use of hay or straw that has not been certified as noxious weed-free. Its orange and blue twine or galvanized wire identifies certified weed-free hay.

2. Camping is limited to a maximum of 14 days.

3. Caching or storing of equipment, personal property, or supplies on National Forest land is prohibited. All equipment brought onto National Forest lands must be taken out when you leave.

Leave No Trace, A National Outdoor Skills and Ethics Program:

Leave No Trace is more than a technique or a set of rules defining appropriate behavior in the wilderness; it is an attitude, a land ethic that respects the wilderness, recognizes its fragility and the need to protect it.  In years past we spoke of people's ability to survive the wilderness.  Now, we speak of wilderness as the land's capability of surviving human use.  The best way that you can help the land to survive is to make the least possible impact on the environment.  The principles of Leave No Trace are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare.  Know the area and what to expect when packing.  Give yourself time at the end of each day's travel to find a suitable camp.  Find a dry, screened area away from the trail.  It is required that you camp at least 100 feet away from lakes and streams to prevent pollution from dishwater, human waste, and manure. 
  • Camp and travel on durable surfaces.  Whenever possible choose an established site that will not show signs of additional use.  Avoid any heavily used campsites which have been posted as revegetation sites.  This will allow these areas to heal.  Pack a portable water jug to carry water to camp, thereby reducing trips to lakes and streams. 
  • Minimize use and impacts of fire.  Use a gas stove instead of building a fire.  Campfires leave permanent scars on the land.  If you must have a fire, use an existing rock firering (if available) or build a mound fire.  Do not build new firering. 
  • Leave what you find for others to enjoy.  Camp lightly and take only pictures.  Refraining from outdated practices such as trenching around tents, building structures, putting nails into trees, and collecting from the forest will help to protect the resources.  Your site should need no modification.  Good campsites are found, not made. 
  • Properly dispose of what you can't pack out.  Scatter waste water away from camp and water sources.  To protect water quality, bury human waste at least 6 inches deep and at least 200 feet from any water source.  Use biodegradable soap. 
  • Pack it in, pack it out.  Reduce litter at its source. Simplify by packing with reusable containers.  Before leaving camp, take one last look around.  Have you packed all of your trash and left your site in its natural condition?
  • Respect Wildlife.  Keep your distance from wildlife when observing them and don't feed them.  Protect wildlife from your food by proper storage.  Avoid wildlife contact altogether during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, winter.  Keep your pets under control at all times or leave it home. 
  • Respect other visitors.  Be considerate of  the quality of other visitor's experiences in the wild.  Take breaks and camp away from trails.  Let nature's sounds prevail, avoid loud noises and voices. 

To learn more about Leave No Trace, click here to visit the Leave No Trace website at www.lnt.org


If you require additional information contact:

The Rawah Wilderness Area is located on the Roosevelt National Forest.  The district ranger office below is responsible for management of the wilderness and adjoining national forest lands in their respective jurisdictions:

Canyon Lakes Ranger District Office:

Canyon Lakes Ranger District

1311 South College Avenue

Fort Collins, CO 80524

(970) 498-2770