15 state parks to join reservation-only program | VailDaily.com

15 state parks to join reservation-only program

Daily staff report
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Pearl Lake is among the state parks that will adopt a reservation-only system in the new year.
Photo courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Starting in 2019, it will be easier than ever for campers to reserve a campsite at 20 of Colorado’s state parks. Effective Jan. 1, 15 state parks will convert to a reservation-only system after five parks tested it successfully in 2018. Under the new system, campers can reserve a site, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, anywhere from six months in advance up until the day of their arrival. It will be as easy as logging into http://www.cpwshop.com from your computer or smartphone, or by calling 800-244-5613.

Park managers in the pilot program reported success with eliminating the three-day reservation window and switching to a system where campers reserved their own spots via phone or online the day they plan to arrive at the park or up to six months in advance.

The ability to reserve a site on the same day eliminates the need for campers to gamble on a first-come-first-served spot, only to arrive at the park and find that there aren’t any spots available.

What if someone occupies a site they haven’t reserved?

Campers who occupy a reservation-only campsite without a reservation will be subject to a citation. All campers must reserve a campsite prior to occupying the site.

Also beginning Jan. 1, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is eliminating its $10 reservation-only camping fee when calling or using the website to reserve a site.

Cellular coverage at some state parks (such as Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, State Forest and Highline) can range from spotty to non-existent. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is advising those interested in camping at these parks to make their reservations online or by phone before arrival.

State parks currently participating in the program:

Cheyenne Mountain

Eleven Mile

Staunton

St. Vrain

Trinidad Lake

State parks joining the program on Jan. 1:

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area

Boyd Lake

Cherry Creek

Golden Gate Canyon

Highline Lake

Jackson Lake

John Martin Reservoir

Lathrop

Mueller

North Sterling

Pearl Lake

Ridgway

State Forest

Steamboat Lake

Yampa River

State parks joining the program on April 1:

Lake Pueblo

Chatfield.