STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) – The first week of July looks likely to be a busy one for those Forest Service workers stationed up in the Adams Park area of Routt County.

That can be attributed mainly to the arrival of what is expected to be roughly 10,000 visitors, all of whom are members of the Rainbow Family of Living Light, a group known for its annual gathering in various national forests.

According to the USDA Forest Service, 2006 was the last time the nature-embracing group held its month-long celebration in Routt National Forest, which included members setting up a large camp in the Big Red Park Area that sits north of Steamboat Springs.

Now, the gathering is returning to the region where members will once again celebrate their yearly tradition, all while worrying park officials.

Rainbow Family members hold hands as they gather for their annual prayer circle in a meadow in the Routt National Forest north of Steamboat Springs, Colo. on Tuesday, July 4, 2006. (AP Photo/Peter M. Fredin)

Additional Colorado history attached to the group includes a string of stabbings that occurred during the 2014 gathering that took place in Red Feather Lakes.

“We understand there are concerns about the impacts to nearby communities, businesses and our neighbors,” Forest Supervisor for the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland Russ Bacon said. “We have already begun working with our partners to minimize any negative effects to local communities and the environment as much as possible.” 

A Forest Service officer patrols the periphery of the Rainbow Gathering on Friday, July 2, 2021, in the Carson National Forest, outside of Taos, N.M. More than 2,000 people have made the trek into the mountains of northern New Mexico as part of an annual counterculture gathering of the so-called Rainbow Family. While past congregations on national forest lands elsewhere have drawn as many as 20,000 people, this year’s festival appears to be more reserved. Members (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

This area of the incident is not an unexplored avenue for the USDA Forest Service. As a result of the gathering’s encroaching arrival, they’ve deployed their national incident management team, which carries expertise in handling these types of events.

According to the Forest Service, members of the Rainbow Family do not habitually sign up for camping permits. And, when asked who the leader is among the group, officials have been told that there is not one. Ticket citing is not enough to manage the group, so the Forest Service designed a protection plan for all delicate forest resources, keeping long-lasting damage to a minimum. The plan also outlines how the subsequent clean-up project will be handled.

People walk along a trail in the Rainbow Family encampment Tuesday, July 1, 2014, in the Uinta National Forest, Utah. About 4,000 members of a counterculture group known as the Rainbow Family have poured into the woods about 60 miles east of Salt Lake City for an annual festival that culminates in a four-day celebration beginning Tuesday. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

So, if you’re planning to head out to the region surrounding the Rainbow Family gathering during the Fourth of July week, then be prepared to potentially bump into some members from the gathering and see the huge uptick in traffic they are likely to bring to your holiday week.