Timed entry permits required again at RMNP
Rocky Mountain National Park will be implementing a pilot temporary timed entry permit reservation system beginning on May 27, 2022. The reservation permit system is similar to that used in 2021. Two types of reservations will be available. One permit will be for the Bear Lake Road Corridor, which includes the entire corridor, as well as access to the rest of the park. This reservation period will be from 5 am to 6 pm. The second permit will be for the rest of Rocky Mountain National Park, excluding the Bear Lake Road corridor. This reservation period will be from 9 am to 3 pm. Permits issued using the reservation system will allow park visitors to enter the park within two-hour windows of availability. The reservation system will apply to all areas of the park.
Reservations to enter the park will go on sale through www.recreation.gov at 10 am Mountain Daylight Time on Monday, May 2. This round of reservations will be available to enter the park from May 27 through June 30. The next release will occur on June 1, for the month of July and any remaining days that have not been booked for June. On July 1, reservations will be available for the month of August and any remaining days that have not been booked for July. On August 1, reservations will be available for the month of September and any remaining days in August that have not been booked. On September 1, reservations will be available for October and any remaining days in September that have not been booked.
Initially, 30 percent of permits will be held and available for purchase the day prior at 5 p.m. through recreation.gov. These are expected to sell out quickly and visitors are encouraged to plan ahead when possible.
This year’s pilot reservation system allows for a greater number of reservations per day. Reservations will be based on approximately 90 percent of the park’s total parking capacity. Last year’s system was based on approximately 75 to 85 percent of the park’s total parking capacity. This system spreads use throughout the park and throughout the day to better utilize all parking/trailhead areas.
For more detailed information and Frequently Asked Questions on timed entry permits to help you prepare for the summer season, visit https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/timed-entry-permit-system.htm
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the busiest national parks; third in the country in 2019 with over 4.6 million visitors. This represents a 42 percent increase in visitation in seven years. Visitor crowding and congestion at the park have led to increased negative impacts to visitor and staff safety, resource protection, visitor experience and operational capacity. The park has piloted various visitor use management strategies over the last six years, including managing vehicle access to first-come, first serve (2016-2019) in highly congested areas. These first-come, first-serve restrictions had some limited success initially, but over time began to lose effectiveness; the length of time they were necessary kept expanding and impacts were pushed elsewhere. The park piloted park wide timed entry permit reservation systems (2020-2021) and will be piloting a similar system again in 2022. The park is learning from these various strategies since 2016, to help inform long-range day use visitor access strategies. This includes developing desired conditions, defining zones, and identifying indicators, thresholds, strategies and capacities. Public meetings were held in May of 2021, and there will be additional opportunities for public input when the formal planning process is initiated.
There are several different reservation systems that are being implemented across the National Park Service. Other national parks that have announced various types of reservation requirements this year include Arches National Park, Glacier National Park, Acadia National Park, Muir Woods National Monument, Shenandoah National Park, Haleakala National Park and Zion National Park.
For further information about Rocky Mountain National Park please visit www.nps.gov/romo, follow the park on social media @RockyNPS or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.
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