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RMNP to hold random drawing to distribute backpacking camping permits

Some trails and campsites could reopen in time for the camping season in May as park staff clear debris, park officials said.

ESTES PARK, Colo. — Rocky Mountain National Park has come up with a new strategy to distribute overnight backpacking camping permits, opting to use a lottery system for the 2021 season.

On Tuesday, officials will randomly draw names of those who will be granted access to its camping reservation system, who can then submit trip requests in the park for July through October.

This system comes as RMNP has less availability for camping this season because of damage caused by the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome wildfires last year. About 30,000 acres of the park were burned during the fires.

Parts of RMNP, including the Green Mountain and Front Lake trails, are still closed; however, some trails and campsites could reopen in time for the camping season in May as park staff clear debris, park officials said.

Demand is so great for the limited camping space that RMNP’s reservation system crashed on the first day it opened for backcountry camping permits.

People can enter their names into the backpacking camping drawing from Thursday morning to Sunday at 5 p.m. Names will be selected randomly, not in the order received.

Winners will be sent an email with instructions on how to complete the reservation request application.

RELATED: Cameron Peak Fire causes $6.3 million in property loss, report says

RELATED: Estes Park could face historic weather again

> Watch video above: Damage to Rocky Mountain National Park from East Troublesome Fire

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