Shelf Road Campsite Vandalism


Original Post
Might Knot · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0

My wife, daughter, and I enjoyed a great weekend climbing at Shelf. When we returned to our campsite on Sunday afternoon (3/12/17), we discovered someone had ransacked our camp. Our belongings were strewn about the dirt and the tent was flipped upside down onto a large cactus plant. Based on the heavy bins that were flipped and the direction items were thrown, it was clearly a person (or people) and not weather related. Strangely enough, nothing was stolen. The only damage incurred was to the tent.

We were camped on BLM land south of Sand Gulch Campground and saw other parties camping in established campsites as well. Our camp was near the intersection of roads 5825B & 5825. I spoke with BLM and confirmed we were okay to be there.

I'm not sure the reason we were targeted, however my gut reaction is to think it was some rowdy teenagers enjoying their Sunday afternoon. We're no worse for the wear and made it home without further issue.

I have no idea if this has been an issue before; I'm sharing my experience as a friendly reminder to look out for each other and not leave valuables at camp while climbing.

OrganicChemistry · · Tucson · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 95

may karma soon visit the a$$hat(s) that did this

TBlom · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2004 · Points: 360

maybe a hungry black bear looking for your food?

John Ryan · · Poncha Springs, CO · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 165

Sux. I wonder if it was the ethics police, despite you not being in violation of BLM policy, at least according to the person you spoke to.

mediocre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0

That sucks. In the 3 short years my wife and I lived in CO we had some interesting run ins out on BLM/USFS land.
Id bet it was the dude with the confederate flag on his truck.
And everybody just dismissed me...

s.price · · PS,CO · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,348

I'd bet it was the dude with the confederate flag on his truck? WOW.
I have been in CO for 37 years and can count on two fingers having a strange encounter while out and about on public lands. At least with humans.

So there must have been tracks all over the place if it was a group of people.
Sounds like a bear to me. Nothing stolen?

Been wrong before though. At least you still have all your stuff.

Scott McMahon · · Boulder, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 1,425
s.price wrote:At least you still have all your stuff.
Exactly. As much as that SUCKS man that is a silver lining right there. I hate the fact you always have to wonder if your gear will be there when you come back. Certain places I won't even camp anymore.
Might Knot · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0
John Ryan wrote:Sux. I wonder if it was the ethics police, despite you not being in violation of BLM policy, at least according to the person you spoke to.
Yeah, I wonder the same. We had a small campfire the night before, and I wonder if someone was upset over that. There were footprints I didn't recognize as well as tire tracks. I didn't see any animal tracks. We're over it and will go to Shelf again but probably stay in the established campgrounds.
Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Might Knot wrote:We're over it and will go to Shelf again but probably stay in the established campgrounds.
I never, ever leave camp gear on BLM land outside of an established campground. Even then some are pretty obscure and certainly don't have campground hosts or something similar, so the comfort factor of not worrying about your stuff being molested is lacking there as well.
mediocre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0
Might Knot wrote: Yeah, I wonder the same. We had a small campfire the night before, and I wonder if someone was upset over that. There were footprints I didn't recognize as well as tire tracks. I didn't see any animal tracks. We're over it and will go to Shelf again but probably stay in the established campgrounds.
With all the BS there I've seen at Shelf, dogs shitting everywhere, trucks parked on the meadow, trash all over the fire rings, ( and yes, mostly done by climbers), if it was the ethics police they must be busy.
Scott McMahon · · Boulder, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 1,425
mediocre wrote: With all the BS there I've seen at Shelf, dogs shitting everywhere, trucks parked on the meadow, trash all over the fire rings, ( and yes, mostly done by climbers), if it was the ethics police they must be busy.
Sadly that seems to be the MO at any place you can reach with a vehicle. lol or almost anywhere. I hear the conundrum hot springs hike is littered with human poop too.
Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470

Black bears are a recent problem at Shelf. It sounds like you were visited.

chris murphy · · Centennial Co · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 20

Bear or Human, it's Shelf. Try the better areas in the Wet Mountains for less human interaction.

Arlo F Niederer · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 435

We've been camping in the same area for over 5 years and have never had a problem.

However, we always camped way at the end before the road turns sharply south and goes through a gully. We would camp west of there but on a fainter road which continues straight west.

On rest days, we noticed that the ATV crowd likes to use the main road. But I don't want to accuse ATV or people with a Confederate flag...

We never noticed any bear or other animal tracks, and Stitch's post about bears is the first I have heard of any bears. Many people always leave their food bins and coolers at their campsites at both Sand Gulch and Cactus Cliff, so if there were bears around they would be a problem because of easy pickings.

This will all become moot when the Sand Gulch campground is expanded, because the BLM plan submitted for public comment showed them shutting down the BLM "dispersed camping" where this vandalism occurred. BLM wants to provide more camping, but will shut down as many (or more) dispersed camping sites then they will add to Sand Gulch.

Scott McMahon · · Boulder, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 1,425
chris murphy wrote:Bear or Human, it's Shelf. Try the better areas in the Wet Mountains for less human interaction.
Thanks for the tip Chris!
wolfsburgweekender · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 0

Sounds like a bear. This time of year with this weather! Last time I left shelf a bear walked right out in front of us across the road on our way back to camp. At least you weren't in the tent.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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