Celebrate Colorado’s Public Lands

Tomorrow is Public Lands Day in Colorado and events are being held throughout Routt County to celebrate.  The Colorado State Legislature passed a bill declaring the third Saturday in May as Public Lands Day during last year’s legislative session. The day was established to recognize the importance public lands have had on the state’s heritage and identity, and to also point out the impact they have on the state’s economy. As part of Public Lands Day, multiple events including a bird walk, hikes, barbecues and clean ups will take place in Routt County. A list of the events that are scheduled in Routt County is available below. For additional information, click here.


Hike with the Sierra Club

2:00 p.m.

Blackmer Drive Trailhead on Emerald Mountain

Join the local Trappers Lake group of the Sierra Club for a 2-3 mile all ages hike on city-owned property on Emerald Mountain. Enjoy great views of West Steamboat and Sleeping Giant. Hike through meadows and small stands of scrub oak and look for spring wildflowers and wild edibles along the trail. The hike will be led by Nils Thunström, an avid backpacker, hiker and self-proclaimed outdoorsman. Participants will learn about outdoor safety, clothing and emergency day-hike items. The hike will finish in time for the Colorado Public lands Day celebration at Mountain Tap Brewery at 4:00 p.m. Contact nilseboy@me.com for more information.

Bird Walk at Carpenter Ranch

7:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

The Nature Conservancy’s Carpenter Ranch

13250 US-40, Hayden, CO 81639

Join The Nature Conservancy for a two-hour guided bird walk along the Yampa River led by resident birding expert Nancy Merrill. Meet at The Nature Conservancy’s Carpenter Ranch visitor center at 7:45 a.m. for coffee and tea. From 8:00-10:00 a.m. enjoy an easy walk through the unique cottonwood forest, home to over 150 species of migrating and nesting birds. Bring binoculars, wear sturdy shoes and weather appropriate clothing. Email bblakeslee@tnc.org or call 970.846.9102 for more information. 

Routt County Clean-Up

8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Olympian Hall

This community event kicks off with coffee and pastries. There is a free BBQ and prize giveaway for volunteers following the clean-up at 11:30 a.m. also at Olympian Hall. Register in advance with Routt County Environmental Health by emailing Heather Savalox at hsavalox@co.routt.co.us.

Ride the Cog Fundraiser

9:00 a.m.

Rides start at The Wild Goose Coffee in the Hayden Granary Building

198 E. Lincoln Ave., Hayden, CO 81639

The Ride the Cog fundraiser event features choice of 3 scenic rides: a paved/gravel 31-mile ride; a 28-mile mountain bike ride (11% grades!) or a 3-mile family fun ride. An after-ride party with lunch, live music, silent auction is at the Hayden Heritage Center Museum. Yampa River State Park will distribute maps showing some of the rides on public land in the area. Proceeds benefit the Hayden Heritage Museum. For more info or to purchase tickets online, go to www.haydenheritagecenter.org. Tickets can also be purchased the day of the event at 9:00 a.m. at The Wild Goose Coffee at 198 E. Lincoln Avenue in Hayden. Call the Museum at 970.276.4380 or email haydenmuseum@zirkel.us.

Stagecoach State Park BBQ and Trash Clean-Up

1:00 p.m.

Arrowhead Group Picnic Area

Stagecoach State park is hosting a community barbecue and Reservoir Shoreline Trash Pick Up following their annual park orientation to celebrate Colorado Public Lands Day. The Community barbecue will start at 1:00 p.m. at the Arrowhead Group Picnic area followed by the Trash Pick Up at 2:00 p.m. Participants are asked to RSVP for the barbecue by May 17 by calling 970.736.2436. 

Yampa Valley Public Lands Day Celebration and Networking

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Mountain Tap Brewery

After a day of exploring local public lands, the public is invited to enjoy craft brews and wood-fired pizza on the patio at Mountain Tap Brewery. Mountain Tap has brewed a special beer for the occasion. The new brew—called “Get Out!”—was created to celebrate our public lands and encourage people to get out and enjoy them. State and local elected officials, including State Representative Diane Mitsch Bush, will speak the celebration. Several environmental groups will also have information tables at the event.


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