Reservations Will Soon Be Required for Brainard Lake, Mount Evans
Visitors wanting to access Brainard Lake and Mount Evans will need to plan ahead this summer, as the popular destinations will now require reservations, once they open back up for the season.
Likely due to the pandemic, these two areas experienced a 200% increase in recreation last year. Cars lined up for miles, and visitors waited for hours just to get in to both of these places. While it's great that the indoor restrictions led more people to want to escape to the outdoors, the huge spike also had a major impact on Colorado's forest land.
In order to avoid another radical increase and be better prepared this season, land managers of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests have decided to input a crowd controlling strategy. Timed entry passes will need to be purchased ahead of time through the recreation.gov reservation system, for anyone planning to enter Brainard Lake and Mount Evans.
Specifics are set to be announced in the coming weeks, but Brainard Lake passes are expected to be around $12, with a $2 reservation fee, and Mount Evans will be approximately $10 plus the $2 added fee as well.
Several other popular Colorado places, including Hanging Lake and Aspen's Maroon Bells, have already started using a similar reservation system.
In addition, some of the heavily trafficked camping sites in these areas will be converted to day-use only this summer. According to The Colorado Sun, forest service officials noticed many of these camping sites faced extreme destruction last year. They were getting trampled, vegetation was being wiped out, and people were pretty much leaving the spots trashed, so a change needed to be made.
Mount Evans is scheduled to open June 4 and Brainard Lake on June 11.
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