Outdoor recreation


  • The worksite must notify and cooperate with their local public health agency on next steps.

  • Local public health agency contacts can be found here.

  • Outbreak guidance for non-healthcare facilities can be found here.

Outdoor Recreation / Outdoor Guides / Tours / Outfitters
  • Guided services, including overnight services, for fishing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, ATV tours, hunting, snowmobiling, skiing, and climbing must follow local policies.

  • River outfitters, rafting, or jeep tours must follow local policies. 

  • Developed hot springs should follow outdoor pool guidance.


  • Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from recreators and fellow employees, except in cases where it is unsafe to maintain that distance. 

  • Wear masks as much as possible, especially during staging and disembarking operations. Where safe, wear masks during trip operations. 

  • Implement symptom monitoring protocols (including workplace temperature monitoring and symptom screening questions) where possible and encourage sick employees to use the Colorado COVID Symptom Support tool.

  • Employees who have had close contact with a person who has COVID-19 symptoms should not come to work for 14 days after exposure and get tested.

  • Employees who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms must  not come to work and get tested. 

  • Keep a record of employees and participants (i.e.sign in/out) to enable contact tracing.

  • Employees who develop COVID-19 symptoms while at work should immediately notify their supervisor and be separated from others, sent home, and referred to state or company support services and get tested.

  • Conduct staging operations, such as customer check-ins and end-of-trip operations, outdoors with members of different households spaced at least 6 feet apart.

  • Provide contactless payment or prepayment options whenever possible

  • Encourage reservations, and preferably require reservations, if feasible. This will aid in notification efforts in case there is an exposure to COVID-19.

  • Maintain 6 feet of distance between parties while inside a facility, or follow retail or restaurant guidance where applicable.

  • Post signs for employees and recreators outlining good hygiene and safety measures being taken. Signs should include easy-to-interpret graphics and be in languages customers will understand. (CDC examples)

  • Encourage handwashing. Direct customers to places where they can wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.

  • Limit capacity on smaller vehicles (jeeps, rafts) to ensure 6 feet of physical distance between non-household groups to the greatest extent possible. These limits may be temporarily exceeded in instances where a person with a disability needs an accommodation, where a transit vehicle is required for an emergency situation, or to prevent a risk to life or safety.

  • Disinfect all equipment used by participants, as well as equipment used commonly by other recreators in between each trip (including paddles, P.F.D.s, rafts, jeep/bus/train seats, saddles, handles/handlebars).  (CDC guidance)

  • Vehicle windows should be kept open at all times when transporting patrons during tours. If inclement weather means extended time in an enclosed vehicle, then the tour should be rescheduled.

  • Curtail ancillary services, such as food preparation, or adjust practices to limit person-to-person contact and contact with shared items. 

  • Competitive events such as races and endurance events are allowed as long as 6 feet of physical distancing can be maintained, between people from different households.


  • When possible, avoid using grocery stores, gas stations etc. in the communities you visit to prevent the spread of COVID-19 across communities. Secure food, water, gas, and any other needed supplies in your home community.

  • Maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet from members of other households at all times, except in cases where it is unsafe to maintain that distance. 

  • Wear masks during check-in, staging, transportation to and from activity if in a shared vehicle, as well as during end-of-trip disembarking activities. 

  • Follow company guidelines on mask-wearing during trips. Check local regulations before travel.

  • Bring hand sanitizers or soap and water.

  • If you or anyone in your party is sick, stay home and rebook. For COVID-19, understand how long you need to quarantine (if exposed) or isolate (if ill) before you rebook. covid19.colorado.gov/covid-19-in-colorado/about-covid-19/isolation-and-quarantine

Large-scale facilities need local approval

Because of the unique environments of large scale facilities, they require

  • Scenic trains should submit plans for safe operation to all Local Public Health Agencies in the counties in which they operate for approval. If approved by all relevant counties, they may run with members of different households sitting at least 6 feet apart per car, and they should have appropriate sanitation and mitigation measures in place.

  • Ski resorts may open on-mountain and lift/gondola operations to provide access to outdoor recreation (lift access for downhill mountain biking, lift sightseeing activities, climbing walls, mountain coasters, ropes courses, adventure parks, zip lines, etc.) if they develop plans for safe operation and secure approval from the Local Public Health Agencies in the counties in which they operate.

  • Outdoor recreation entertainment activities at stand-alone sites for ziplines, ropes courses, outdoor artificial climbing walls, or adventure centers not affiliated with ski resorts may operate if they develop plans for safe operation and secure approval from the Local Public Health Authorities in the counties in which they operate.

Additional resources and guidelines available at covid19.colorado.gov/guidance-resources