It’s been a long, snowy winter, but spring is trying to peek its head into Southwest Colorado!
Keep in mind that this year, some of your favorite high-elevation haunts might not become accessible until later in the summer. Before you head to the high country, it’s a good idea to contact your local public lands offices to find out what the conditions are. See the end of this article for contact information. However, whether in the high or the lower country, San Juan Mountains Association has some great ways to help you enjoy and learn more about our public lands this summer.
Our guided nature hikes at Purgatory will take place again this summer, although with a delayed start. We have to wait for the snow to melt and the mud to dry out a bit before starting these tours, taking place throughout the summer. Keep your eyes open for a PSA in the near future with more details. If you love the outdoors and want to volunteer to help lead some of these hikes, please contact MK (firstname.lastname@example.org).
SJMA will also be offering a youth backpacking trip this summer in the San Juans. It will take place Aug. 7-9 through areas burned by the Burro Fire via the Gold Run Trail and then along the Bear Creek Trail in the Dolores Ranger District. Contact MK to sign up for this trip as well.
Other educational hikes include a 416 Fire Overlook Tour on June 30, an Edible Plants hike led by the amazing Katrina Blair on Aug. 21 and a Glacial Geology hike led by MK on Sept. 8. These are great opportunities to get outside, learn about our local natural lands and meet others interested in the outdoors.
If you’re looking to give back to your public lands, we have some fantastic options for you as well. June 1 is National Trails Day, this year being celebrated in Mud Springs, Bureau of Land Management land in Montezuma County. This will be a “Share the Trails” event, promoting responsible use and sharing of our public lands. Hike or ride your bike or horse for this fun, educational, “poker run trail ride”! Contact Kathe for more information at email@example.com.
Help give back to the Ice Lakes area in July and August with our Ice Lakes Outreach Months. This is a heavily used area, and we’re looking for some volunteers to help educate trail users about the Ice Lakes area and Leave No Trace ethics. This is our chance to make sure every trail user understands the fragile nature of these iconic and wild lakes. Contact David for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, keep your eyes open for more information later this summer about National Public Lands Day, taking place Sept. 28. This is a great annual event to celebrate and take care of your public lands. Contact Kathe for more information.
For some fun music events in town, check out the Community Concerts in the Secret Garden benefiting the nonprofit community June 26-Aug. 28. San Juan Mountains Association will be the beneficiary on Aug. 21.
Learn more about these events and San Juan Mountains Association at sjma.org. We look forward to seeing you out on the trail.
For more information, contact: San Juan Public Lands Center, Durango, 247-4874; Dolores Public Lands office, 882-7296; and BLM information, 882-1120. Pagosa Ranger District, 264-2268; Columbine Ranger District, 884-2512; Silverton BLM office (June 1-Sept. 11), 387-5530; and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, 882-5600.
Gabi Morey is the education outreach director for San Juan Mountains Association.