GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — The first bus shuttles to take visitors to popular Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon began Wednesday morning.
The U.S. Forest Service implemented a new reservation and permit system in an attempt to slow “unsustainable” levels of visitors.
Thousands of people paid for permits when they went on sale last month, the Forest Service said.
Visitors can no longer drive to the lake during the prime months of May to October.
Reservations for a permit are $12 per person with the shuttle running until Oct. 31, from 6:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
The shuttle leaves the Hanging Lake Welcome Center at at 110 Wulfsohn Road in Glenwood Springs to the Hanging Lake trailhead in Glenwood Canyon.
Visitors can plan for three hours of hiking and recreation from the time they are dropped off at the trailhead until they are picked up.
In October, it was announced the paid permit and shuttle system was being implemented as well as a cap on the number of visitors in an effort to cut down on overcrowding at the lake.
The daily number of visitors is capped at 615. The Forest Service said last year about 1,000 people per day were visiting the lake.
While the lake is open year-round, those visiting in the off-peak season of Nov. 1 to April 30 still need to obtain a permit for $10 per person.