Those wanting to visit Mount Evans this summer will need to make reservations first.
The U.S. Forest Service and other stakeholders are implementing a timed-entry reservation system, similar to the one used at Rocky Mountain National Park. Visitors can buy passes online, enter during a two-hour window, and stay as long as they desire.
Clear Creek District Ranger Scott Haas said the intent is threefold: protect the public and USFS personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic, improve visitor experiences and preserve the health of the mountain’s flora and fauna.
He also believes the new system will alleviate the summertime traffic jam around Echo Lake Lodge.
The highway to the summit is scheduled to open for vehicle traffic June 4, depending on weather.
While prices remain the same based on vehicle type, there will now be an additional $2 reservation fee. Those entering the highway on bikes and on foot do not need reservations, USFS spokeswoman Reid Armstrong said.
Once the online reservation system goes live, which was scheduled for this week, Armstrong said visitors will be able to purchase various tours based on which area or areas around Mount Evans they intend to visit.