Hayden Colorado Logo
16th of June 2022 rainbow gathering.


This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Rainbow Gathering, the world’s largest non-organization of non-members. The Spring Council began meeting this week to determine the best location, and this year’s choice is Adams Park to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of where it all started – in Colorado.  The gathering is officially set for July 1-7

Many of these families are focused on World Peace, ecology, spirituality, and inclusion. 

These gatherings usually occur over the 4th of July week and take place in National Forests, thus fall under Federal control and jurisdiction. Almost all of the activities are peaceful and reflect the theme of World Peace.

A plethora of information can be found on this group: 


This is a well-documented group that has a polarizing effect on communities where it gathers.  We are anticipating 10,000+ gatherers traveling to/from the meeting location.  

Starting on June 13th until the conclusion of event (~July 10th), you can expect people to begin gathering in Adams Park in Medicine Bow Routt National Forest.

According to the Facebook Group, there are 2 recommended routes:  

Rainbow Gathering directions notice
Photo credit: Rainbow Gathering 2022 Vision Facebook Group

Expect these roads to be incredibly congested, and we recommend you find alternate routes. We anticipate that the traffic will be heaviest the week leading up to July 1st and then the week after starting, July 8th.

During the duration of this event, you can expect gatherers to come into Hayden and neighboring town for food, water, and necessities.  While we welcome people from all walks of life to our community, we will not tolerate any disrespect to our community or environment.  At the same time, we will never sacrifice the community values of treating everyone with respect and equality. A majority of the people that go to the Rainbow Gathering are respectful to the communities that they visit; however, some are not respectful and we are preparing to deal with those folks. We expect all neighbors and visitors to treat each other & our planet with the utmost kindness & respect.

Another risk to the area is  an increase in both stray and lost animals, especially dogs. Please report these animals for their & your protection. 

If you see any suspicious or inappropriate behavior, please call the Hayden police: 970-276-3232

If there is an emergency, do not hesitate to call 911.  


While the purpose of the group is to celebrate each other & our beautiful world, groups of this size (this year’s expected attendance is 30,000 people) can create great stress on the natural & community environments that they inhabit.  

While a very large majority of this Gathering will fall to the U.S. Forrest Service and the Routt County Sheriff’s offices to handle, the Town of Hayden and the Hayden Police Department are working with our partners at the local, regional, state and federal level in order ensure this is a positive and minimally impactful event. 

The USDA Forest Service has issued this statement: 

(STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo.) June 15, 2022 – The Rainbow Family of Living Light plans to hold its’ 50th anniversary gathering on the Routt National Forest in the Adams Park area of northwest Routt County. The Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District manages that portion of forest out of the Steamboat Springs office.
The incident will coincide with the Fourth of July holiday, and participants have already begun arriving. The Forest will experience the highest concentration of visitors to the incident during the first week of July.
The Rainbow Family is a loose-knit group of people from throughout the United States and other countries who gather annually on a national forest. Since the first gathering near Strawberry Lake on the Arapaho National Forest in 1972, the incident has taken place on a different national forest each year. The incident is expected to draw around 10,000 visitors.
The USDA Forest Service has mobilized a national incident management team with experience managing these types of incidents. The team works closely with the local community, including law enforcement agencies, throughout the incident to protect the health and safety of everyone involved, and to lessen environmental impacts to the site by providing information and enforcing laws.
An incident of this size can have significant impacts on traffic, communities, local resources, residents, and visitors. Local businesses can expect to see large numbers of Rainbow Family participants visiting stores and buying food and supplies along routes to the gathering site. Forest and county roads in the vicinity may become congested during the incident and road closures and/or traffic detours may occur.
“We understand there are concerns about the impacts to nearby communities, businesses and our neighbors,” said Russ Bacon, Forest Supervisor for the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland. “We have already begun working with our partners to minimize any negative effects to local communities and the environment as much as possible.”
The Forest Service requires a special use permit for every public group of 75 people or more conducting a meeting or event on National Forest System lands. The Rainbow Family has consistently refused to comply with the permit process during national gatherings. They claim to have no leaders and no one member of the family who can speak for the group to sign a permit on behalf of the family.
The Forest Service has periodically cited Rainbow Family members for failing to obtain a permit. However, in the interest of public health and safety, the Forest Service puts together a resource protection plan including specific design criteria to ensure sensitive resources are protected, environmental damage is minimized, and it stipulates post-event clean-up and rehabilitation of the incident location – conducted by the Rainbow Family.
The resource protection plan for the incident will address concerns about health and safety, watershed protection, natural resource protection and rehabilitation of the event site before the group leaves.
The last large National Rainbow Family Gathering on the Routt National Forest was in 2006 in the Big Red Park area north of Steamboat Springs.
For more information about the 2022 Rainbow Incident, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/rainbowgathering.


Fire and animal safety is a high priority for all of us, and to ensure the highest level of safety for everyone, we’re working closely with the Fire Department and Department of Natural Resources to create a plan for mitigating damage to our county.  

Our Police Department is creating a plan that will ensure appropriate staffing and responsiveness to protect our neighbors.  

Local businesses will be working together to ensure safety protocols are in safe to keep buildings and employees safe.  


Safety is the primary consideration during the time of the greatest influx of gatherers, and the best way to maintain community safety is to educate yourself and others.  The Town of Hayden has created this Summer Crime Prevention Guide to help all of us stay safe.  A couple of tips from this sheet are relevant particularly to Business Owners:

  • You can refuse service to anyone (within the law) but great customer service is your best line of safety.
  •  Limiting the # of customers in your store could be beneficial
  • Prohibiting backpacks and other large items where merchandise can be hidden is a great idea
  • Whatever your rules are, clearly post them so that all customers
  • Limit access to restrooms
  • Watch for, and guard against, short-change schemes. Take time with any cash transaction and attempt to ignore distractions while working with cash
  • Consider doubling your efforts to verify identification on controlled purchases
  • Limit the amount of cash in your drawer or till at all times
  • Grocery Stores: Protect your fresh produce from tampering
  • Gas Stations: With the cost of gas far exceeding anyone’s wildest imagination, it is likely that gas theft will be attempted through many different means. The best advice that can be given is…if the pump isn’t activated by a card…do not authorize sale
  • Restaurants: When possible, have patrons pre-pay for their meals


Working together, we can keep each other safe throughout this event.  While we are doing our part, there are pieces that you can do: 

  • Avoid the California Park area – it will be incredibly congested.  Staying away will help prevent further damage & conflict. 
  • Avoid the travel routes of the gatherers.
  • If you see any suspicious or inappropriate behavior within the Town Limits, please call the Hayden non-emergency police line: 970-276-3232. 
  • If the non-emergency need is in unincorporated Routt County, please call the Routt County Sheriff’s Office at 970879-1090.
  • If there is an emergency, do not hesitate to call 911. 
  • Be diligent about locking your house and vehicles over the next month.  
  • Be respectful to these visitors – both online & in-person.  
  • Stay informed.  Sign-up for the Hayden emails where updated communication will be sent regularly.  


Emails will be sent regularly to update our neighbors on any news regarding this event.  Signing up will ensure you get the latest news right in your Inbox.  


* indicates required