A campground in White River National Forest is closed by recent bear incidents

A campground in the White River National Forest, about 13 miles south of Carbondale, has been shut down because of several black bear incidents, including one involving a destroyed tent.

The Avalanche Campground, which has six first-come first-serve campsites, is located off of Colorado 133. One of the main trailheads into the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is adjacent to the popular campground.

On Friday the U.S. Forest Service announced that the campground has been temporarily closed because of recent bear activity.

“Nearly all problems with black bears at campgrounds can be traced to improper food storage, which teaches bears that campgrounds mean food,” the USFS said in a news release.

Bears in Colorado are currently in a late-summer feeding frenzy known as hyperphagia. Bears are continually seeking food and eating as they ready for hibernation in the fall.

The bear incidents demonstrate the need for people to properly store food while camping, the release said.

“The White River National Forest has a food-storage order in place for all its developed campgrounds and many dispersed camping areas to help prevent black bears and other wildlife from obtaining food from humans and becoming a nuisance or dangerous,” the USFS said.

No one was injured in the most recent incident, when a bear destroyed a tent, but people were present at the time.

“There was not a bear attractant such as food in the tent, but clearly the bear was familiar with campsites being a potential source of food,” according to the release.

The campground is closed through at least the Labor Day weekend as a safety precaution.


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