FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KDVR) — Planning to visit your favorite outdoor recreation spots this summer? The Forest Service wants you to do some homework before you head out.
Following a year of record-breaking wildfires and increased outdoor recreation due to the pandemic, Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland managers are looking at ways to change things up in order to help visitors recreate more responsibly and enjoyably.
The most notable change will impact Mount Evans and Brainard Lake. In an effort to reduce crowding, the Forest Service is working on a timed-entry pass system for both of the popular locations. The Forest says the project is still being developed but passes should be available for purchase in late May at Recreation.gov.
Mount Evans is scheduled to open June 4, while the Brainard Lake welcome station is set to open June 11.
“For outdoor recreationists, the most important message this year is to ‘Know Before You Go,’ recreation program manager Erich Roeber said. “Just like you might plan a family vacation or research a product before purchasing, public lands visitors really need to do their homework this year before they head out on an adventure. Otherwise, they might show up somewhere and realize they needed to buy a pass in advance, or book a reservation, or that they can’t camp in the same exact place where they camped last year.”
Other changes in the works include shifting certain well-visited areas to “day-use-only” designations to allow them to heal following the creation of thousands of new campsites last year that damaged resources.
New food storage requirements for visitors are also being looked at to reduce unwanted wildlife encounters, and some burned areas from last years wildfires will be closed off for assessment and stabilization.
To get the most up to date recreation information, you can visit the Know Before You Go page on the local National Forest website.