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President Joe Biden may have created the Camp Hale–Continental Divide National Monument last October, but don’t expect to find Yogi Bear’s Jellystone. “If people are hoping to have a developed, National Park Service–type experience with rangers in flat hats, visitor centers, etc., they will be disappointed,” says David Boyd, a spokesperson with the White River National Forest, which manages the 53,804-acre monument southeast of Minturn. Instead, the area that encompasses Camp Hale (the WWII training grounds for the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division) and a swath of the neighboring Tenmile Range is still unembellished. But that could change.
As part of the designation—the first of Biden’s presidency—the Forest Service must develop a new plan to manage the region’s cultural and natural resources. Chief among them: the trails and backcountry huts that have long lured hikers, bikers, and skiers to its peaks. The Forest Service is in the early stages of gathering input from three Native American tribes with ancestral lands inside the monument. (The Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute tribes supported the designation, but the Ute Indian Tribe, headquartered in Utah, says it was not properly consulted.) When finalized, the plan could include additional bathrooms, interpretive signs, and that missing visitor center.