GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – More than 6,000 people have reserved permits to visit the popular Hanging Lake area in northwestern Colorado this year.

Photo of Hanging Lake near Glenwood Springs taken June 16 by Lindsey Unhock of Denver.

The Post Independent reports that the system is new this year, part of a plan to minimize the effects of hikers visiting the scenic area. Officials have become concerned about the number of people visiting in recent years.

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U.S. Forest Service officials say since the permitting system opened two weeks ago, more than 6,180 people have signed up for a spot. July is particularly popular but officials say there are still plenty of opportunities to visit between May and October.

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A shuttle will begin taking hikers to the trailhead starting May 1 and officials plan to stagger groups throughout the day.

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