Ruedi campgrounds will reopen |

Ruedi campgrounds will reopen

Aspen Times Staff Report

Three campgrounds at Ruedi Reservoir that were closed early this month because of bear problems are opening back up today to hard-shell campers.

The Little Maud, Mollie B and Little Mattie campgrounds will remain closed to tent camping and soft-sided trailers, but officials will give the campgrounds a trial run with hard-shell campers before the busy Labor Day weekend, said Kent Wellner, assistant district ranger for the Sopris district.

“We’re going to try to open the campgrounds back up – have a preview and see what happens,” he said. “If we have some bears show up, we’ll probably shut them down again.”

Several bears were frequenting the three campgrounds, along with the Ruedi Marina campground, earlier this summer. On July 20, restrictions against tents and soft-sided campers went into effect in the campgrounds, affecting about 70 individual campsites in all. Two weeks later, officials were forced to close the Little Maud, Mollie B and Little Mattie altogether.

“We had several bears running in and out of there for a couple of weeks,” Wellner said.

A mother bear and two cubs that had been regular visitors have not been spotted for some time and another large black bear that had been roaming the campgrounds appears to have left the area, as well, according to Wellner.

Campers with prepaid reservations were offered refunds after the campgrounds were closed, or were allowed to use their reservations at other campgrounds farther up the Fryingpan River Valley.

The campgrounds will reopen on a first-come, first-served basis, Wellner said.

The three campgrounds that are reopening are located about 14 miles east of Basalt. Campers are reminded to keep their food in air-tight containers and stored in secure areas, such as a locked vehicle.

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