Permits are “part of a big effort to grapple with the stewardship challenges” at one the state’s hottest outdoor spots.
Conundrum Hot Springs
As Garden of the Gods, Conundrum Hot Springs and Hanging Lake experience record visitors, park officials are scrambling for solutions.
The permits, available only online through Recreation.gov on a first-come, first-served basis, will be required year-round.
The Forest Service hopes to address overcrowding and human waste issues with the new permitting system.
High visitation has littered Conundrum with human waste. In response, the Forest Service may soon require backpackers to pack it out.
The attraction expects to see 3-4 million visitors to the park this year. On a busy day, it can take about two hours to drive from one side of the park to another.
If approved, the Forest Service plan based on years of data and an extensive review process, could take effect as soon as summer 2018.
The Forest Service is considering tightening access to Conundrum. Should other Colorado hot springs consider one too?