Rainbow Family Gathering will be in Routt County

Rainbow Family members march in North Routt County in 2006 during their annual gathering. The 2022 gathering will return to Routt County near Adams Park west of Steamboat Lake.
Matt Stensland/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The 50th anniversary of the annual Rainbow Family Gathering of the Tribes is expected to be in Routt County, according to a Facebook post from the group.

The group boasts being the largest non-organization of non-members in the world and has been meeting for the last handful of days near Oak Creek to pick a location for the gathering, which is expected to draw tens of thousands of people to public lands. The apparent location was announced Tuesday, June 14.

The announcement gives directions to an area called Adams Park in the Routt National Forest off of Routt County Road 80. This location is west of Steamboat Lake State Park.

“Continue on Routt County 80 to WELCOME HOME!” the post reads.

The gathering, which is slated to take place July 1-7, according to the website, comes 50 years after the first celebration took place near Granby in 1972. The group was last in Colorado in 2006, when they gathered in North Routt County near Clark.

Officials at the state and federal levels have been planning for the gathering for most of the year now, trying to develop a plan for when the group announced where they would meet.

Noting that this year’s gathering could have happened in Grand County, Grand County commissioners released a statement in April saying they did not support such a gathering.

Routt County’s commissioners have not taken such a step, but they met for additional training on managing emergencies in April, where the potential for a Rainbow Gathering locally was discussed with Bonnie Lucero, the Northwest Colorado field manager for the Colorado Department of Emergency Management.

Lucero has been in on planning meetings with the U. S. Forest Service in preparation for the Rainbow Gathering. In addition to concerns about wildfires, the sheer number of people could be problematic. The gathering could attract as many as 30,000 people, according to the Colorado Sun.

“It’s just a matter of an influx of that many people that are drawing upon limited resources,” Routt County’s Emergency Manager Mo DeMorat said in April. “We only have so many ambulances that are on duty at any one time.”

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