Top 5 rules for enjoying the great outdoors

By Joy Martin

 Summer/Fall 2022

From mountain peaks and alpine meadows to cool forests and warm canyons, the great outdoors is a wild, magical place that calls us to breathe deeply and find peace. While you explore the natural treasures of southwest Colorado, please remember that we’re all just visitors here with a responsibility to leave these places better than we found them. Here are five ways you can do your part: 

  1. Be fire-savvy.

Before you head out on a hike or bike ride, be sure to check the latest fire danger levels and weather alerts. Abide by all fire restrictions, including not smoking and making sure to fully put out any campfires, if allowed.  

  1. Keep your eyes open and brain turned on.

It sounds silly but trust us: awareness is everything in the great outdoors. Stay on trails. Don’t step on or pick the wildflowers, and please don’t feed the birds, squirrels, deer, or bears (especially the bears).

  1. Create art in your journal.

Graffiti is such a buzzkill – especially on natural surfaces that have worked so hard to grow in their own special ways. And if you’re visiting an archaeological site, please do not add your creative touches to the sacred handiwork of Indigenous peoples who still consider these lands their home.  

  1. Carry out your trash.

Whether you’re grabbing a quick snack or indulging in a picnic spread, make sure to stuff all your wrappers, papers, and any bits of food back into your pack. Bonus points if you pick up any extra litter that doesn’t belong in the wild.

  1. Put your best face forward.

While you’re out on the trail, say hello to folks outside doing the same as you. Soak in the solo moments and shared memories with friends and family. Leisure time is a luxury, so don’t forget to smile at this simplest of riches!



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