Mount Evans reservations open Tuesday. Here’s how to plan your trip this summer

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Visitors stand around the edge of Summit Lake Park, beneath the summit of Mt. Evans. July 6, 2021.

Reservations go live on Tuesday for the Mount Evans Recreation Area, which is slated to open for the season on Memorial Day weekend.

This is the second year forest officials will mandate timed vehicle entry to help prevent overcrowding along the mountain’s 14-mile scenic roadway. The system is similar to the one in place at Rocky Mountain National Park and a growing number of other recreation areas across the state. 

“The timed-entry program was extremely successful in reducing crowding, wait times, and environmental impacts in 2021,” said Reid Armstrong, a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Forest Service in a press release. “As the program continues in 2022, we hope visitors are growing accustomed to advanced planning.”

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Reservations are for a two-hour entry window on a specific date. They are required if you’re planning to visit the mountain anytime between 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. and can be made online up to 30 days in advance of your trip.

Entry costs $15 for most cars, plus a $2 reservation fee. Reservations are refundable if you cancel your trip more than 24 hours ahead of time. 

If you’re worried about the cost, most entry fees will be waived on two fee-free days planned for June 11 and Sept. 24. 

If you’re a last-minute planner, 25 percent of daily reservations will be available two days in advance at 8 a.m. On June 1, for example, those tickets will be available for June 3. 

Reservations at other sites in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests will open in  May. 

Tickets for the Brainard Lake Recreation Area will go live on May 26. Those reservations can be made up to 15 days in advance.