White River National Forest

Luke Runyon / KUNC

Campers wishing to spend the night at Conundrum Hot Springs in Colorado’s Maroon-Bells Snowmass Wilderness will now need a permit.

The $10 pass can be purchased at recreation.gov. They will not be available at Ranger stations. They go on sale starting April 18.

White River National Forest

One Colorado landmark is so popular that fistfights break out in the parking lot and traffic can back up onto I-70 in Glenwood Canyon.

All to make the mile and half trek to Hanging Lake.

Visitation to the iconic lake has doubled in the last five years and visitors frequently flout the rules. They traipse off platforms and into the lake's fragile ecosystem and leave behind trash, graffiti and even human waste. For years some Forest Service officials have said visitation to the area needs to be curtailed to save it from being overrun. A new plan out Tuesday aims to do just that.

White River National Forest

An activewear company will be supporting a public outreach campaign after paying over $300 in fines for breaking the rules at Hanging Lake in Western Colorado.

Luke Runyon / KUNC

It’s clear that residents and visitors love Colorado’s incredible outdoor spaces. Recreation is great for the state’s economy, but it can be a double-edged sword when too many people come to enjoy Colorado’s most cherished places.


KUNC News explored the challenges of keeping places open and encouraging visitation while at the same time protecting the fragile beauty of our favorite spots in the series Loved To Death.

Is Social Media Spoiling Colorado's Hanging Lake?

Aug 25, 2016
White River National Forest

Clear mountain water cascades into a greenish blue lake, with pines dangling over the edge. Even for Colorado, it’s unique. Hanging Lake is described as a jewel in the White River National Forest.  For many years, it was an unspoken secret that only Coloradans knew.

But there’s a problem. The secret is out.

Luke Runyon / KUNC

Picture this: You're in a warm pool of water, elbow to elbow with dozens of other people. There's music, drinking, general mayhem. Oh, and maybe you’re naked. If you’re picturing a Spring Break party, you’re wrong.

Try Conundrum Hot Springs outside Aspen, Colorado.

The high alpine pool draws thousands of visitors from around the world every summer and fall. As visitation numbers spike, the U.S. Forest Service, the federal agency tasked with maintaining the area’s wild character, says the hot springs’ popularity threatens the very things that make it unique. 

Helicopter Logging To Mitigate Fire Danger Near Minturn

Aug 21, 2013
U.S.F.S. / Flickr

Helicopters are removing pine beetle killed trees just south of Minturn, in an effort by the Forest Service to mitigate the increasing wildfire danger.

KUNC file photo

Land managers on the state’s largest National Forest are proposing to vastly scale back the amount of lands available for oil and gas development. 

Sean O'Shaughessy / Flickr

A list of proposed infrastructure improvements for Beaver Creek Mountain is up for public review and comment for the next 45 days.

U.S. Forest Service

Officials have finalized details on what roads and trails will be open to hikers and motorists in Colorado’s vast White River National Forest.