Last of Colorado Rainbow Gathering attendees leave; restoration completed


Rapid planning by U.S. Forest Service staff, good cooperation with agency partners, work during the incident and rain helped the rehabilitation effort “go as well as it could” after the 50th anniversary Rainbow Gathering, Forest Service District Ranger Michael Woodbridge said this week.

Woodbridge said all remaining Rainbow Gathering campers in Adams Park in North Routt County left the forest on Monday evening, Aug. 8, after completing recommended rehabilitation work for almost one month.

“They did all the things we asked them to do. Anything we knew about, they addressed it when we brought it up to them,” Woodbridge said. “The Rainbow’s rehabilitation group did the best they could, but you can’t erase that impact. It’s impossible to erase the evidence of 10,000 people being on the forest in one place.”

Forest Service officials conducted a virtual meeting Tuesday to close out management efforts with the cooperating county and state level partners that helped before and during the unpermitted event. Woodbridge said discussion with cooperating agencies was mostly positive.

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