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Mount Evans Highway opens with reservations required

The goal of the reservation system is to reduce wear and tear on the road, according to CDOT.

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. — Mount Evans Highway (Colorado 5) opened to the public for the season Friday morning, and for the first time ever reservations are required.

Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) crews worked through the month of May clearing snow along the 15-mile highway from the gates at Echo Lake Lodge to the summit of Mount Evans (14,264 feet), which is the highest paved road in North America.

This season, the USDA Forest Service requires motorists going to Mount Evans Recreation Area to make reservations through Recreation.gov.

Reservations are done using a timed system for entry. Pass holders should be ready to present a printed or digital copy of the reservation at the facility Welcome Station.

RELATED: Some of Colorado's most famous mountain roads are back open

Those who have printed tickets are asked to place them on the dash of their vehicle.

"The online reservation system will help alleviate significant wear and tear on the Mount Evans road and surrounding ecosystem. Please be ready for this necessary change from the USDA Forest Service,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew.

Reservations are not required for people who bike or hike up the roadway.

Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts, anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road.

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