Colorado Outdoor Season

Colorado Outdoor Season

With the passing of the calendar from May to June we (hopefully) can turn the page on another winter and make our way back to the great outdoors. The warm weather means the snow is melting, the creeks are flowing and lines at the trailheads are roughly 14 million people deep. While there is plenty to do in winter, I think summer is the new official Outdoor Season in Colorado.

So many of us found the outdoors last year while everything was shut down and this summer we return as experts ready to conquer the great outdoors. Unfortunately, the new season is bringing with it more rules this year. Here is an overlook at some of those rules and some other helpful tips to get your summer off to a great start.

Timed Entry

Several parks have decided to go to a timed or ticketed entry system this year. They are trying to limit the rushes and overcrowding at these parks. Hopefully it works out and doesn’t just drive people to other locations as these are some of the best parks around.

One of the most important resources will be the site Recreation.gov. On this site you can purchase tickets and find the parks that are requiring the passes this year.

It is also important to remember to download or print out a copy of your reservation as cell service in these locations can be sketchy at best.

If you are looking for places to go that aren’t using the timed entry system, here is my list of Colorado Hikes.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park from the Deer Mountain Trail.  This was taken just before the ticketed outdoor season in Colorado.

Rocky Mountain National Park is actually offering two separate tickets. One ticket is for the Bear Lake Corridor and the other is for the outer regions of the park like Lily Lake and Longs Peak. Both of these tickets can be found on the Recreation.gov website.

Tickets for Bear Lake Corridor are available in two hour windows starting at 5-7am and ending at 4-6pm. While the tickets allow you to enter they do not guarantee parking at specific trailheads.

Tickets for the outer regions are available from 9am – 3pm.

Brainard Lake Recreation Area

Mt Audubon at Brainard Lake Recreation Area.  This was taken before the ticketing system began.

Brainard Lake is another very popular are that is moving to a timed entry system this year. The Brainard system is a little different as the tickets will be for specific parking areas. The tickets begin at 5am and run until 8pm. They also have overnight parking tickets available on Recreation.gov.

Mount Evans

Mount Evans has several tiers of tickets available from 1-3 days. you will have to arrive at the time of your reservation and the reservations can be made on Recreation.gov.

Other parks around the county are also lookin at the timed entry system.

Hanging Lake

Hanging Lake near Glenwood Springs has been doing the reservation system for a couple of years now. Reservations are required from May 1st through October 31st. Their reservations cost $12 and are broken down in hourly times starting at 5:30 am until 6:30pm. You can find information on those reservations at VisitGlenwood.com.

Camping

Camping has also seen a huge increase in numbers over last year and because of that every state park in Colorado now requires reservations. This began January 1st of 2020 and you can find information on the states website here.

National Forest and Parks are also requiring more and more reservations and those reservations can be made on Recreation.gov as well.

Dispersed camping on public land is still available as long as you follow rules that can be found here.

RV’s

Are you looking to try out an RV but aren’t quite ready to commit to buying? Did you buy an RV last year and now your job won’t let you work remote anymore? I wanted to introduce you to RVshare.com. I work with this company as an affiliate advertiser and I had never heard of them before that.

Essentially it works as like a VRBO but for RV’s. You can choose between hundreds of models and styles to rent an RV for a trip. And if you have an RV you can make some money on the days that you don’t use it.

The reason I bring it up is because now through the end of June, 2021, RVShare is teaming up with a company called Gear Forward. Gear Forward is a great organization that collects gently used camping gear to pass it on to youth in need to help gear up the next generation of adventurers.

Well if you donate a gently used tent before the end of June, you will receive a $250 credit to an RV rental! Make sure to check the link below for all of the information.

$250 credit toward an RV rental on RVshare – when you donate your tent to Gear Forward, an organization that collects gently used camping gear. Expires 6/30/2021. No code needed

So if you bought the tent last year during lockdown and then realized that you prefer beds to sleeping on rock it might be a perfect time to try an RV.

Wrap up

While I can’t list all of the rules for enjoying the outdoors, I do hope this helps with some of the new information that is out there for this season. Its so great to spend time outdoors in this beautiful state and hopefully every can enjoy their time even more with these rules.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me at fatmanlittletrails@gmail.com. You can also follow me on any of the social media platforms below. Happy Hiking!

2 thoughts on “Colorado Outdoor Season”

  1. Bewildered Brown Eyes

    Thank for sharing this. I hadn’t heard of timed entries before. Is this unique to the Colorado area? Great Smoky Mountains weren’t doing anything like this that we saw a couple weeks ago; although it might be a good idea for some of the more popular trails.

    1. I’m not sure where else it is happening. I know Moab, Utah was talking about it to deal with crowds so I am guessing it will expand throughout the country in the more popular parks. Also, all of ours started in June so a lot of people showed up to Rocky Mountain and couldn’t get in because they didn’t know.

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