Northern Front Range National Forests encourage visitors to plan ahead and #KnowBeforeYouGo

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Monday, January 23rd, 2023, 3:03pm
From the USFS:

Even though snow is falling, now is the time to start planning your 2023 summer adventures on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests & Pawnee National Grassland, the third-most visited national forest unit in the nation. From camping and hunting to boating on lakes and trekking through the wilderness, most outdoor adventures require advance planning and preparation.

National Forest managers are planning for a very busy summer season. The Forest is continuing reservation programs to reduce crowding so that visitors can have safe and enjoyable outdoor experiences this summer. Online reservations will be required for the most popular developed recreation areas, while wilderness permits and recreation passes should be purchased online.

Campground reservations are available online six months in advance at recreation.gov, so visitors looking to book for the peak summer season need to start planning now. All campgrounds on the Forests and Grassland are extremely popular due to their proximity to major highways and metropolitan areas.

Reservations will be required for Mount Evans and Brainard Lake in 2023. Day use reservations are expected to be available on a rolling basis for both areas beginning in mid-May. The Brainard Lake welcome station is scheduled to open in early June, and Mount Evans typically opens for Memorial Day weekend, depending on snow conditions.

Online permits for the rugged Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, a popular destination for visitors seeking a more remote experience, become available at 8 a.m. (mdt), Thursday, March 16 on recreation.gov. Permits are required for all overnight camping in Indian Peaks Wilderness Area from June 1 to Sept. 15. Visitors should plan their itineraries in advance by using the resources available on the Forest’s website.

Overnight parking reservations for visitors planning to use the Brainard Lake Recreation Area trailheads for permitted overnight camping in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area also will be available starting March 16 on recreation.gov. If you plan to use the Hessie or Fourth of July trailheads, check the Boulder County website for information on shuttles and parking. Information on that page will be updated before the season begins.

National Forest maps and annual and lifetime recreation passes that cover fees for National Parks and National Forests can be purchased online through USGS.gov. Passholders are still required to make reservations and pay administrative fees through recreation.gov.

Recorded information is available on our Forest Information Line at 970-295-6600. If you have further questions, please email us at VisitARP@usda.gov. In-person appointments are available to accommodate needs that cannot be met over the phone or by email.