Reconnecting With Nature: How to Stay Alert, Healthy & Safe as Lands Reopen | Cle Elum, WA

Clean air, sunshine, and exercise can not only improve your mood, but are crucial to a healthy body and mind. It is more important than ever to get out and be active, if you can do so safely, and we would love to be a part of your journey as you begin to venture a little further than was possible just a few weeks ago. Social distancing remains important, however, so we have prepared a guide for how to get outdoors while still staying alert, healthy, and safe. Here are a few hiking etiquettes to keep you safe and courteous of others as you return to the trails. We encourage you to keep them in mind as you set off on new adventures and we hope to see you soon!

Enjoy the outdoors when healthy. If you have symptoms of fever, coughing, or shortness of breath, save your outdoor adventure for another day.

Check what's open before you go. Many state-managed lands are open for day-use only, but some local and federal lands my still be closed. Overnight camping is not allowed, nor events, gatherings, or team sports. Be sure to plan accordingly!

Stay with immediate household members only. Until public authorities allow larger groups to gather, try to stick to recreating with just the folks in your household. Recreation with those outside of your household creates new avenues for virus transmission.

Stay local. The first round of reopening in Washington State applies to the day-use of state lands only. Most campgrounds and other facilities will remain closed. Stick to parks you can access in a day and remember to keep rural communities safe. If you are not currently near the area, Cle Elum will be waiting for you when it is safe to travel again.

Have back-up plans. Have a "plan b" and a "plan c" in mind for your outing in case your "plan a" has a full parking lot or your destination is closed. Plan to hike lesser-traveled trails and do your best to avoid trails where the main attraction is a viewpoint or other area that would serve as a likely gathering point for many people.

Respect closures. If parks are closed, don't go. Most trail and park restrictions will be prominently posted. Check state guidelines and closures to stay up-to-date.

Come prepared. Visitors may find reduced or limited maintenance services as staff begin the process of reopening facilities. Restrooms may be closed and there may not be staff collecting trash, for example. Come prepared and remember to pack out what you pack in in order to be respectful of our public lands and facilities.

Physical distancing is key. Maintain a distance of at least six feet between you and others. This can be hard on some of Cle Elum's most beloved trails, so be prepared to go somewhere else or come back another time if your destination looks crowded.

As always, we are here to help you plan an epic Cle Elum adventure, whether it's to take now or in the future. We hope to see you soon, but if that's not possible at this time, Cle Elum will be waiting for you so keep looking forward.

Discover Cle Elum Trail Guide
Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust
Washington State Parks & Recreation
Washington Trails Association


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