Prepare for more fees, reservations will continue at Rocky Mountain National Park in 2022 – Estes Park Trail-Gazette

Anyone planning a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park next summer is likely to need a reservation, as authorities continue to manage the amount of daily traffic that passes through one of the country’s busiest national parks.

According to spokesperson Kyle Patterson, authorities have proposed a timed entry system similar to that used in 2021. Reservations would be required when visiting from May 27 to October 10, typically peak season for hiking and sightseeing. . Entrance slots should be available from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Bear Lake Road corridor and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at other entrances.

“Reservations would be based on approximately 90% of parking and transit capacity, or approximately 20,000 visitors per day and 7,200 vehicles,” Patterson said.

Rocky Mountain National Park began requiring reservations in 2020 to limit the number of people present daily during the pandemic. But since 2016, the park has tested various strategies to deal with the increase in visitation – the park welcomed more than 4.6 million recreationists in 2019 – and some of the negative impacts subsequent to it, Patterson said.

In 2021, reservations ensured visitors were well distributed throughout the day and within the park, better protecting resources and utilizing the park’s infrastructure, avoiding traffic jams and improving the experience, she said. .

Rocky Mountain officials are currently discussing the proposal with officials regionally and in Washington and will announce their 2022 plan as soon as possible, Patterson added.

In addition to reservations, the park is proposing an increase in the price of admission and overnight camping in order to “improve and maintain high quality visitor services,” according to a statement. A day pass would drop from $ 25 to $ 30, while weekly passes ($ 35) and annual passes ($ 70) would remain the same price.

Under the proposal, summer campsites would increase from $ 5 to $ 35 per night at Moraine Park, Glacier Basin, Aspenglen and Timber Creek campgrounds. Winter camping at Moraine Park would increase from $ 10 to $ 35 per night. Group campsites would cost between $ 50 and $ 70, depending on the size of the location, up $ 10 from previous years.

The money would help mitigate tree risks, improve and repair hiking trails, manage bears, improve campsites and more, according to the park. The public can comment on the proposed price increases until January 7.


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