DENVER — While the Front Range’s open spaces have seen a record number of users during the COVID-19 pandemic and Colorado’s stay-at-home order, the state’s national parks have been closed.
But as restrictions are lifted – and as parks like Great Smoky Mountains National Park make plans to reopen – what does that mean for Colorado’s four national parks?
It’s worth mentioning that under Gov. Jared Polis’ (D-Colorado) “safer at home” order, driving more than 10 miles for recreational purposes is still not allowed.
>>> Watch the video above to see a 2016 9NEWS special about the Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Nevertheless, at least one Colorado national park said it is building plans to reopen. That is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, which said in a news release it’s planning a phased reopening within the next two weeks.
“Plans are underway to safely open boating at Blue Mesa, and other reservoir areas, as well as some aspects of Black Canyon,” the release says. “In our preparations, we must take every precaution to provide for the safety of our staff and our visitors. This gradual, phased reopening will begin within the next two weeks.”
Park officials at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve and Mesa Verde said they’re working with local health officials, state leaders and the federal government to determine their reopening dates.
Those will likely be on a park-by-park basis.
Rocky Mountain National Park – by far the most visited in the state – does not have a target date for reopening as of this writing.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS | Local stories from 9NEWS