Rainbow Family Gathering 2022: Cleanup continues from the unsanctioned, 10,000-person gathering in Routt National Forest

The Rainbow Family Gathering had upwards of 10,000 attendees at the peak of the unsanctioned annual event and federal officials say the large gathering in Routt National Forest has been dispersing since the Fourth of July.

This year’s event was expected to bring larger-than-normal crowds and had made law enforcement nervous for several months leading up to the July festival, which Vice described as a “weird version of burning man.”

RELATED: Rainbow Family Gathering site focus of restoration as members move on from Colorado park

Hilary Markin, a spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service, said attendance did appear above average, likely due to the observance of the 50th anniversary of the Rainbow Family’s first-ever gathering, which also was held in Colorado.

Rainbow Family has no one leader or person to speak on their collective behalf and therefore no one to sign the required permit that the U.S. Forest Service issues for large gatherings.

More so than residual trash, local officials say the bigger environmental issue has been the degradation the area has suffered after hosting roughly 10,000 individuals, particularly regarding vegetation and land usage.

Click here to read more about this year’s Rainbow Family Gathering.

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