Winter Recreation


Winter Safety

  • Know the forecast! Weather can change quickly, especially at higher elevations! Get the latest forecast information at National Weather Service 
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return. 
  • Never go alone, and ALWAYS stay together!!!
  • A map and compass! Cell phones will only work so far.  - Global Positioning Satellite Receivers (GPS) are great, but they become useless once the batteries are dead. Never rely totally on this technology, when you go out in the backcountry ALWAYS take a map and compass with you and make sure you know how to use it!!
  • Tools and spare equipment parts
  • Extra clothing and “space” blanket
  • A flashlight and first aid kit
  • Nonperishable food and water
  • An avalanche beacon and snow shovel
  • Waterproof matches, lighter and a candle
  • A whistle and pocket knife


Avalanche Danger: Know Before You Go

  • Before leaving the house, check the local updated avalanche conditions, and weather forecast for your area.   Website:

  • Always tell someone where you plan on going and when you’ll be expected to return.
  • Be prepared for self-rescue. Rescue teams are often hours away.
  • Discuss the risks of route selection with your teammates.   “Does the route place anyone in harm's way from a potential slide?”
  • Invest in avalanche beacon, and practice often with your co-riders.
  • Purchase a satellite messenger similar to an InReach, or SPOT device.  Then, practice sending messages to friends & family.
  • Carry a whistle for attracting help, they are more efficient than yelling, and the sound actually travels further. Never go alone, if possible. Always stay together. 
  • Always be prepared for an overnight every outing, every time.   That means carrying extra clothing, a temporary shelter (like an emergency blanket, or bivy sack), food & water, and possibly a source of fire.
  • Need help?  Call or Text 911.  

If You Think You’re Lost….

  • STAY PUT and call for help! It's a lot easier for Mesa County Search and Rescue to find you if you are in one place!
  • Use the last hour of the day preparing a shelter
  • Build a fire
  • Never separate from each other!
  • If you must move, travel down a drainage
  • Help will come, believe it!!
  • Always be prepared to spend the night!


Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) Card

The Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) Card helps pay for the cost of free search and rescue services in Mesa County.  The CORSAR card funds rescue missions across the State of Colorado. Click here to get yours today! 


Winter Driving

Check your tires: Worn tires can't grip the road well and can be extremely hazardous. If your tires don't have at least a one-eighth-inch tread when a Traction Law is called, you are in violation of the law and could end up with a fine.

Got Room? Leave extra room between your vehicle and others on the road at all times. Even vehicles with four-wheel/all-wheel drive will not stop any quicker on icy roads, especially if you have inadequate tires. Also, give snowplows plenty of space! Getting too close is dangerous. 

Drive for conditions: In poor visibility, don't drive faster than you can see ahead. High speeds in poor visibility can lead to dangerous chain reactions. 

Check to see travel forecasts for the I-70 mountain corridor, road updates, rideshare and parking information, deals on lodging, food, and entertainment for travelers, and more.

Have a plan: If you are stuck in a serious storm, do not leave your car, run the engine periodically and wait for help.

Prepare a winter driving vehicle kit: Carry blankets, water, a flashlight, a shovel, some nutrition bars or other food for sustenance. Winterize your vehicle's safety kit by including extra blankets, sand to help gain traction in the event you become stuck on ice or snow, jumper cables, and an ice-scraper.

Colorado's Passenger Vehicle Traction Law and Passenger Vehicle Chain Law:

  • Traction Law—When the Traction Law is in effect, motorists must have snow tires, tires with mud/snow (M/S) designation, or a four-wheel/all-wheel-drive vehicle. All tires must have a minimum one-eighth-inch tread.
  • Passenger Vehicle Chain Law—Reserved for severe winter conditions as the final safety measure before an interstate is closed, the Passenger Vehicle Chain Law states that every vehicle on the roadway must have chains or an alternative traction device (like AutoSock).
  •  Learn more

To learn more winter driving tips visit To find roadway conditions and closures, view CDOT's traveler information site at, or call 511 from anywhere in the state.