Do You Know Your ‘Mountain Manners?’
July 4th is coming up this weekend, and it means one thing: we’re in full on summer mode in Crested Butte! Which is to say, visitors and locals alike are enjoying the abundant sunshine, the sweeping views, and the myriad of sports and activities that can be enjoyed in our little corner of the Rocky Mountains.
But with great fun, and incredible natural beauty, also comes great responsibility. As more folks are realizing what an incredible place Crested Butte is, we have to make sure we're all preserving the natural habitat that surrounds us, and following a few easy rules.
Paying attention to, and realizing our impact on the land is the first step in making sure the environment remains healthy and abundant, which is why local organizations spearheaded the “Mountain Manners” project.
Mountain Manners was primarily created by The Wildflower Festival and Tourism association, and spreads awareness regarding the most significant issues effecting the environment that surrounds Crested Butte. As more and more folks come to recreate here, it’s vitally important that each of us follows these guidelines while we’re out and about, so we can preserve the environment for plants, animals, and all of us folks for years to come.
Here are your Mountain Manners (and keep an eye out for rack cards around town, so you can keep a reminder on hand while you're out and about):
- Walk, bike or take public transport while in town, and to the trail head (carpool if you must drive).
- Avoid biking or hiking on private land by downloading trail maps at www.cbgtrails.com to be sure you’re on a public trail.
- Know who yields to who on the trail: Bikers yield to hikers, who all yield to equestrians.
- Get rid of liter: Pack in/pack out, and pick it up—even if the trash isn’t yours (put that in your good-karma piggy bank!).
- Know where you’re allowed to camp: Head into the visitor center (located at the 4-way stop in Crested Butte) and grab a map! There are camping restrictions in both the Slate River Valley and Gothic Valley. Can’t find a camping spot? Pouring Rain? Call 844-815-6711 and we’ll find you a room or suggest other camping areas.
- Don’t pick flowers (which will just wilt anyways), and leave wildlife alone (from chipmunks to bears) by staying far enough away from them as to not disturb them.
- OHVS (AKA: Off Highway Vehicles) users: the laws are changing! Call the sheriff's office at 970-641-1113 to avoid being in conflict with the law.
- Bury solid human waste: #2 is becoming our #1 issue, so always be sure to bury solid human waste in a 6-8 inch hole, at least 200 feet away from rivers, lakes or streams. And remember: no one likes getting TP’d—pack out used toilet paper and dispose of it in the trash, so the back country doesn’t end up looking like a high school prank!
If you’re out exploring, and can’t remember the specifics, ask yourself this: “is what I’m doing going to leave a mark so that others can tell I was there? Am I leaving an impact?” If the answer is ‘yes,’ it’s best to avoid doing it.
Remember, if everyone left a bit of toilet paper, picked a bouquet of wildflowers, or camped/drove into an undisturbed location, our environment would be irreversibly impacted. Which means our little corner of paradise would be in desperate trouble.
Help us keep Crested Butte beautiful and healthy by remembering these simple Mountain Manners while you’re enjoying your stay here.