Aspen’s Difficult Campground will open Saturday, most campgrounds will open late due to snow cover |

Aspen’s Difficult Campground will open Saturday, most campgrounds will open late due to snow cover

The first of the Aspen-area campgrounds will open Saturday but most will remain closed until more snow melts, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Difficult Campground, about 4 miles east of Aspen, will open as scheduled Saturday. Weller also was scheduled to open Saturday but its season debut will be delayed until Highway 82 over Independence Pass is opened, said Shelly Grail, recreation manager for the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District.

The three “Silvers” in Maroon Creek Valley — Silver Bar, Silver Bell and Silver Queen — were pegged for a May 24 opening, but they are no longer on track to meet that date, Grail said. The Pitkin County Road and Bridge Department will attempt to open Maroon Creek Road on May 24. The Forest Service will need time after that to prepare its various facilities for opening, Grail said. No time has been released yet for the opening of the Silver campgrounds.

The opening of the Lincoln Gulch Campground and individual sites along Lincoln Creek Road is delayed for an indefinite time because of the amount of snow and avalanche debris, according to the Forest Service. That valley was hit particularly hard by slides.

Portal Campground’s opening at Grizzly Reservoir also is uncertain.

Lost Man’s debut also is yet to be determined.

In the Fryingpan Valley, the first 41 sites at Chapman Campground were scheduled to open Saturday, but the Forest Service and its concessionaire discovered a water line problem, Grail said. It now appears the first sites at Chapman won’t open until the middle of next week. Sites 42 to 83 on the south side of the campground will open June 8.

The campgrounds on the shores of Ruedi Reservoir — Little Mattie, Little Maud, Mollie B and Ruedi Marina — are scheduled to open Saturday, as is Dearhammer on the eastern edge of the big tub.

In the Crystal River Valley, the Forest Service website said the Redstone Campground will open Saturday while the opening of Avalanche is estimated to be May 24.

Bogan Flats Campground, located on the county road to Marble, will open Saturday.

Check the White River National Forest’s online campground list for updates at

All campgrounds have a mandatory food storage order to reduce the chances of conflicts between humans and bears.

“All food and attractants must be stored where bears can’t access them at night and during the daytime when unattended,” said a statement from the Forest Service. “If a bear becomes habituated to receiving food in a campground or recreation area and becomes a threat to humans, it may be euthanized.”

Campers must use food lockers, which are available at several campgrounds, inside a sealed container in a vehicle or in an Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee-approved container.

Other tips include not leaving trash around camp, keeping the fire ring clean and not storing food or toiletries inside tents.