GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Shuttle service and a permit process won’t be part of the plan to restrict visitors at the popular Hanging Lake Trail, at least this year. The U.S. Forest Service hasn’t secured a transportation provider or other details to put the system in place.
The new management plan is meant to address overcrowding which has resulted in damage to the trail along with vandalism, dangerous traffic and parking situations and an obstinate violation of rules.
The USFS’s plan caps visits to 615 people per day, that’s about half the number of people who use the trail during a busy summer day. Everyone who visits must buy a permit, starting next year.
“We’ve come a long way in getting this management plan finalized,” said Aaron Mayville, District Ranger, in a statement. “Great progress has been made, but there is still a lot of work to be done before we can fully implement the plan and the shuttle system on time in 2019.”
Officials had wanted to close the small parking lot and force visitors to pay for a shuttle ride to then hike the Hanging Lake trail.
Instead, the parking lot will continue to operate with rangers monitoring the space this year until the permit process and shuttle service are put in place.