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Lost Lake area near Nederland to close over human-bear safety concerns

Hessie Trailhead, trails remain open for day use only to Wilderness boundary

BOULDER, Colo. (July 7, 2020) – The Roosevelt National Forest and Colorado Parks and Wildlife are closing the area around Lost Lake to all use starting Wednesday, July 8, 2020, over safety concerns with a bear in the area.

This bear has been involved in conflicts at the campground since 2017, entering unoccupied tents, retrieving people’s food left unsecured and showing little fear of humans. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is confident it is the same individual bear due to matching descriptions from conflict reports.

“We are concerned for the safety of backcountry campers, as this bear has become an issue,” said Kristin Cannon, Deputy Regional Manager for CPW’s Northeast Region. “For the time being, we feel it is best to keep campers safe and close down the area.”

The entire area is closed to camping from the Hessie Trailhead near Nederland to the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area boundary. Day use along the King Lake Trail or Devil’s Thumb Trail will be permitted; but the Lost Lake Trail spurs off of King Lake Trail will be closed and no use will be permitted beyond that trail junction.

“This area closure is a rare step that we take only in the most critical circumstances and is necessary for public safety,” said Boulder District Ranger Angela Gee. “We understand that this is the height of camping and hiking season and our hope is this closure will be brief.”

The closure will remain in place until further notice.

“We would like to remind the public that no matter where you are camping this summer, especially if you are in the backcountry, please use a bear resistant canister to store any scented items and pack out all trash,” said Jason Duetsch, Area Wildlife Manager for CPW. “This is the best way to avoid dangerous bear encounters and to prevent unnatural food rewards.”

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