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    Rocky Mountain

    National Park Colorado

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Food Storage at Campgrounds and Trailheads

bear box 450 px credit NPS

Food Storage lockers are located throughout the campground

NPS

Bears are active April through November every year. Don't attract wildlife, including black bears, to campsites because of improperly stored food. Bears can visit any time of day!

  • Never leave food items unsecured or unattended. Improperly stored or unattended food items will result in a violation notice.
  • "Food items" include food, drinks, toiletries, cosmetics, pet food and bowls, and odoriferous attractants. Garbage, including empty cans, food wrappers, etc., must be stored or disposed of in trash or recycling receptacles.
  • Hummingbird feeders and bird feeders are attractants for wildlife such as raccoons, elk, deer, and bears, and are not allowed in campgrounds.
    Coolers, dirty stoves, grills, non-disposable tableware and cookware must be washed and stored in the same manner as food.
  • Camp kitchens must be kept clean and individual items properly stored.
  • Remember, toiletries attract wildlife and need to be properly stored when not in use (in bear-proof food storage locker or in hard-sided vehicle out of sight with windows rolled up and doors locked).
 

Keep a Clean Camp!
Campgrounds:
store all food items in food storage lockers; if full, store food items by one of the following methods:

  • Inside vehicle trunks; be sure windows are closed and doors are locked.
  • In vehicles without trunks, items should be placed as low in the vehicle passenger compartment as possible and covered from sight, with windows closed and doors locked. Visitors with soft-sided vehicles, vinyl or wood toppers, and convertibles are encouraged to use bear boxes.
  • Visitors with convertibles or motorcycles are encouraged to use bear boxes. Bear boxes for food storage are available in all park campgrounds, and location symbols are on campground maps. Food storage lockers, which are approximately 3' x 4' x 3' are shared with other visitors and cannot be locked.

Trailheads: visitors parking overnight in the Wild Basin area and on the Fern Lake Road are required to use food storage lockers for storage of all food items. It is prohibited to leave food items or garbage within a vehicle when parking overnight in these two areas. Food storage lockers are located at the following trailheads

  • Wild Basin
  • Long's Peak
  • Finch Lake
  • Fern Lake
  • Sandbeach Lake
At all other trailheads, visitors parking overnight must store all food items and garbage by one of the following methods:
  • Inside vehicle trunks.
  • In vehicles with no trunk, such items may be placed as low in the vehicle passenger compartment as possible and covered from sight, with vehicle doors and windows closed.
Day use visitors parking at trailheads must store all food items and garbage by one of the following methods:
  • Inside vehicle trunks.
  • In vehicles with no trunk, such items may be placed as low in the vehicle passenger compartment as possible and covered from sight, with vehicle doors and windows closed.
 
bear credit NPS photo by Ann Schonlau

NPS/Ann Schonlau

Bears Remembering: When people let bears get into food and garbage, the lure of an easy meal can overcome a bear's natural wariness of people. Once bears learn to follow their super-sensitive noses to your neighborhood, they can damage property and even break into houses and cars! With a nose that's 100 times more sensitive than ours, a bear can literally smell food five miles away. Bears are very smart, and have great memories - once they find food, they come back for more. Black bears are not naturally aggressive, but they are strong, powerful animals. A bear intent on getting a meal can easily injure someone who gets in its way. Every year bears that have become too comfortable around people have to be destroyed.

Did You Know?

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Rocky Mountain National Park has a cool site for kids. What do you know about the park? The Web Ranger Challenge tests your knowledge! More...