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Stay safe at Colorado parks by wearing a life jacket, says Colorado Parks and Wildlife

A crowded Lake Pueblo State Park
Posted at 2:53 PM, Jul 03, 2024

Know Before You Go
Colorado weather is unpredictable and can change at a moment's notice.

  • Choose your destination(s) based on the weather forecast
  • Choose your activities based on your skill level and safety gear
  • See what activities are available at each state park using the Colorado Parks Guide or the Park Finder Tool
  • Discover park events and classes on the CPW Events Calendar
  • Whatever you bring into the outdoors needs to be taken with you when you leave
  • Bring more water than you think you (and your pet) will need
  • Wear sunscreen. Use the free sunscreen stations at select state parks

Boating and River Safety
This year, the majority of water-related deaths occurred because people did not wear a life jacket.

According to CPW, there have been over 20 water-related fatalities in Colorado so far this year. In 2023 CPW tracked 32 water-related deaths, which was 12 less than in 2022. In 2021 there were 22 deaths and 34 deaths in 2020.

CPW officers are currently writing $100+ tickets for boaters and paddlers who are on the water without life jackets.

In order to stay safe while having fun on the water, CPW recommends the following safety tips:

  • Wear a life jacket
  • Dress accordingly to the cold temperature of the water to protect yourself from the dangers of cold water shock
  • Life jackets are required while on paddleboards and kayaks
  • Heavy rain or melting snow in nearby mountains can raise water levels quickly and without notice. You can check water flows at the Colorado's Decision Support Systems website
  • Only boat or paddle in conditions that you feel comfortable and confident paddling in
  • Boat and raft with a buddy, especially during high flows
  • If you're unsure how to navigate challenging water conditions, consider hiring a Colorado-licensed river outfitter

CPW Provides A Warning About Waterways as Arkansas River Approached Flood Stage

Be Careful with Fire

Despite parts of Colorado receiving high levels of moisture this year, drought conditions still impact whether campfires are allowed or restricted this summer.

Fire that burned near Twin Lakes Caused By Humans Says United States Forest Service

Keep Wildlife Wild

Summertime is a sensitive time for wildlife since many species can get more aggressive to protect their young. Cow elk and moose in particular become incredibly protective of their immobile newborns.

CPW has come out with the following safety tips to stay safe around wildlife this season:

  • Do not feed or approach young wildlife
  • Stay "bear aware" while on trails or camping
  • Keep dogs leashed to prevent them from chasing wildlife
  • If you see injured or sick wildlife, leave it alone and call your local Colorado Parks and Wildlife office

Elk Attacks Keep Happening in Colorado. Here's How To Avoid It

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What's in store for Monsoon Season in southern Colorado

If you've lived in Colorado for a few years, you're familiar with the North American Monsoon. If you're not, buckle up...because it's on the way.

The summer monsoon is coming, here's this year's forecast

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