Some 15,000 members of the Rainbow Family who spent up to a week camping in the woods near Steamboat Springs left a big imprint on the land, the Forest Service said today.
Aerial photographs show the campers carved 40-50 miles of trails in the woods and a nearby meadow in Routt National Forest, said Forest Service spokeswoman Denise Ottaviano, noting that any gathering that size will have consequences.
Rainbow Family representatives said members will stay behind after the bulk of the group leaves to tend to the forest and minimize the group's impact on wildlands and wildlife. Forest officials are expected to oversee the work.
Officials estimate about 7,500 Rainbow Family members remain at the site.