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Timed entry permit system remains at RMNP with modifications

Rocky Mountain National Park will continue its timed entry system with a few modifications beginning May 26. (Photo/NPS)

Rocky Mountain National Park will continue its timed entry system with a few modifications beginning May 26. (Photo/NPS)

ESTES PARK, Colo. —Rocky Mountain National Park will implement another pilot timed entry permit reservation system beginning on May 26.

Previous use of the reservation system has eased congestion impacts and improved the visitor experience in the park.

The reservation permit system is similar to that used in 2022, with two types of reservations 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 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The second permit will be for the “rest of the park,” excluding the Bear Lake Road corridor. This “rest of park” reservation period will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Permits issued using the reservation system will allow park visitors to enter the park within two-hour windows of availability with no set time for departure. 

The reservation system will apply to all areas of the park. The only cost associated with booking a reservation is a $2 recreation.gov processing fee.    

Reservations to enter the park will be available through www.recreation.gov beginning at 8 a.m. MDT May 1. This round of reservations will be available to enter the park from May 26 through June 30.

Release will occur on th first of every month through October. after Oct. 26, no permits will be needed to enter the park.

Modifications from the 2022 pilot system to the 2023 pilot system include making 40 percent of all reservations available the day prior at 5 p.m. through recreation.gov. These are expected to run out quickly and visitors are encouraged to plan ahead when possible.  Other modifications will include extending the pilot permit system through October 22 and reducing the time period and number of hours daily that a reservation is required for “rest of park.”  This reduced reservation period will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This system spreads use throughout the park and throughout the day to better use all parking/trailhead areas.  

RMNP is one of the busiest national parks with over 4.6 million visitors in 2019, representing a 44 percent increase in visitation in seven years. In 2021, under a pilot timed entry system, RMNP’s visitation was 4.4 million. 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.

Information provided by the National Park Service

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