Editor’s Note: This article appeared on kiowacountypress.net and is written by Darcy Mount, senior ranger at Cheyenne Mountain State Park in Colorado. 

Park rangers get all kinds of questions from the millions of visitors Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) receives each year at our 41 state parks.

A good portion of my work each day involves answering those questions, which range from simple requests for directions to advice on hiking, camping or boating to inquiries about the history of a park. (I even end every Ranger Station by inviting questions from readers.)

We also get our share of silly questions such as: “Why do you let snakes live here?”

This time of year, when it’s cold, our campgrounds aren’t as busy and the trails are more peaceful, the question rangers often hear is: “What do park rangers do in the winter?”

The answer varies depending on which of CPW’s 135 full time rangers you ask.

It’s easy for people to imagine what we do during the traditional summer season, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. They know rangers are a great resource for visitors and we stay busy patrolling and enforcing park rules so everyone has a safe and enjoyable visit.

What many don’t realize is that in recent years, our “summer” season has lengthened at both ends. These days, we start seeing influxes of visitors in March around spring break and then steady business well into late October. It seems people are getting more and more value from their annual park passes.

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