Effects of wintry weather mean some Colorado campgrounds to remain closed

GILPIN COUNTY, Colo. -- Memorial Day means remembering those who died serving our country. But this holiday is also the unofficial start to the summer vacation season.

The long weekend means many will hit Colorado’s campgrounds. But a recent blast of winter weather is causing some unexpected problems.

At Chatfield State Park, campers were already enjoying the outdoors just minutes from the city hub Thursday. But the park is completely booked up for the holiday weekend.

That’s pretty much the same story for any state park.

There's more availability at national parks. But make sure to check the status of any campground because Mother Nature is giving a cold shoulder to some.

There won't be any camping at Pickle Gulch campground in Gilpin County because it's closed for the holiday weekend.

“Some of the areas are covered in snow and the ground is way too wet. What that means is the area is prone to resource damage,” U.S. Forest Service spokesman Lawrence Lujan said.

He also said there are safety concerns. The area will remain closed until it dries out.

It’s one of dozens across Colorado impacted by last week’s spring storm of rain and snow.

Conditions are muddy and wet. Plus, the Forest Service worries about the hazards of broken trees that snapped under the weight of heavy snow.

“We have some areas experiencing more snow than others, primarily in the higher elevations. There is some snow in the branches. Those could fall and hit someone down below,” Lujan said.