DENVER — Reservations will open soon for two of Colorado's most popular outdoor destinations.
Visitors to Mount Evans and Brainard Lake, which are located in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, will need to make advance reservations through recreation.gov beginning later this month.
Mount Evans Recreation Area is tentatively scheduled to open on May 26, weather permitting. Reservations can be made beginning at 8 a.m. on May 23 and can be made up to 30 days in advance. They're required for anyone who plans to park and visit any one of three developed sites between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.: Mount Goliath Natural Area, Summit Lake Park, or the Mount Evans summit.
Brainard Lake Recreation Area is tentatively scheduled to open on June 9 if the weather cooperates. Reservations can be made starting at 8 a.m. on May 26 and can be made up to 15 days in advance. Specific reservations for the upper elevation parking lots will go on sale in mid-June and the area is tentatively scheduled to open July 1. Overnight parking reservations for wilderness permit holders have been available since March 16.
Mount Evans and Brainard Lake draw hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world, according to a release from the U.S. Forest Service. The timed entry system is intended to reduce wait times, lines and crowding at welcome stations and attractions. Dispersing visitors across the days and weeks also reduces impacts on wildlife and the environment and improves available parking, the release said.
Customers will be charged a $2 reservation fee by recreation.gov in addition to the standard entrance fee, unless they hold an annual or lifetime pass, in which case they will only be charged the reservation fee.
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