Difficult Campground to close for season – Colorado News

The U.S. Forest Service has announced that Difficult Campground will close for the remainder of the season starting on Aug. 15 for a long-awaited drinking water renovation project.

According to Shelly Grail, recreation manager for the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District of the White River National Forest, the repair work has been on the drawing board since 2011.

“This has been in play for quite a while,” Grail said. “We finally got the green light for funding in January. We took the campground off the reservation system last winter so people were able to plan ahead.”

Difficult Campground is the closest Forest Service campground to Aspen. It has 47 sites, most of which are booked well in advance throughout the summer.

“There have been no issues with the actual water,” Grail said. “This project is just to upgrade the water delivery system, which was installed in 1981. This is an exercise in modernization. The water at the campground is 100 percent safe. We test it regularly.”

The project will cost about $300,000, which will come directly from Forest Service headquarters in Washington, D.C., through the agency’s capital investment fund.

 Craig Turpin/Aspen Daily News

Difficult Campground is closing early for the season so crews can update its water system.

The work will be done by a local company, Phoenix Industries of Glenwood Springs.

According to Grail, this is the only water-related project slated for Forest Service campgrounds in the Roaring Fork Valley.

“We realize the inconvenience this may cause people,” said Karen Schroyer, District Ranger for the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District. “The closure will give crews the space and time they need to safely do…

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