DENVER (KDVR) — Visitors to Eldorado Canyon State Park should expect to be turned around if they’re trying to drive in without a reservation starting July 23.
The new permit system is being tested this year and next year as a pilot to determine the best system for the overcrowded park.
Permits will only be required for weekends and holidays in the summer. That’s from the start date on July 23 to Sept. 15 this year, and from May 15 through Sept. 15 next year.
According to CPW, Visitation has more than doubled at the park since 2013, with nearly 540,000 people visiting the park last year.
“This is just related to vehicles because when we’ve done surveys of that park, that seems to be what drives the frustration with the public is the number of vehicles,” CPW Northeast Region Manager Mark Leslie said at a meeting earlier this year.
The first permits go on sale July 13, at cpwshop.com and for dates beyond July 13 they will be released 30 days in advance.
CPW said it plans to release about 90% of the park’s 200-vehicle capacity in advance. Additional reservations may be released 24 hours ahead of time.
“Our hope is the reservation system will reduce impacts to the community of Eldorado Springs, protect natural resources and maintain a safe, quality recreational experience for years to come,” Park manager John Carson stated in the news release.
A valid Colorado State Parks pass will be required with the free reservation. People will be limited to one reservation a day and four reservations a month. Visitors without a vehicle reservation will be able to get to the park through the free shuttle service.