El Rito Campground Closure
TAOS, NM – August 18, 2020 – Due to large gatherings of people, negative impacts to natural resources, and not enough public following alternative camping guidelines, the Carson NF will close the El Rito Campground, as of August 18th until further notice.
Why are we closing a campground? The Carson NF has worked to provide recreation opportunities during a time of unique restrictions. In an effort to keep most campgrounds open during this unprecedented time, visitors were asked to practice Leave No Trace camping if visiting the El Rito CG. The idea of Leave No Trace means removing all human waste and trash when leaving the campground.
What is happening?
- Bathrooms are closed to protect public and FS personnel safety. Forest Staff cannot keep up with the numbers of visitors to keep bathrooms clean for public use.
- Accumulation of trash and human waste creates unsafe and unsanitary conditions, for Forest customers, the local water resources, wildlife and Forest employees.
We acknowledge that gathering together in large family groups is part of who we are as New Mexicans. Unfortunately, this year the El Rito campground cannot accommodate the unprecedented numbers. To safely allow for safe family gatherings at the campground in the future, the Carson NF will be looking into resources to re-organize and update the site to better protect the health of the land and the people.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Carson NF continues to assess the best way to serve the public. Please recreate responsibly by following all federal guidelines and state public health orders, including social distancing and limits on groups size. Be safe and plan ahead to reduce unnecessary exposure and impacts on emergency personnel. Stay up to date by checking the Carson website and following the forest on Facebook and Twitter.