ELDORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking the public to help determine a solution to overcrowding at Eldorado Canyon State Park. Park officials said in the last four years the number of annual visitors to the popular park has doubled, reaching more than 500,000 visitors in 2018.
Eldorado Canyon State Park reaches maximum vehicle capacity much of the year, officials said, and illegal parking on surrounding roads are impeding traffic flow for emergency services as well as nearby residents.
“There may be a line of 20-30 cars going through Eldorado, the town,” Adam Frederick, who goes rock climbing in the park almost every day, said. “On holiday weekends or just any weekend in the summer, you might not be able to get into the park.”
In an effort to curb traffic and congestion concerns, as well as attempt to improve the quality of life of residents of Eldorado Springs, CPW is considering a Visitor Management Plan. During a public meeting in Boulder Monday night, officials discussed the options they’ve come up with and asked people to weigh in on what they believe is best.
One idea is to require in-advance parking permits during peak season weekends and holidays, staggering vehicle permit entry times, allowing access for one day. The second idea is to require time-limited, single day permits – an 8- or 4-hour pass – but offer a free daily shuttle, too.
“I think that might aggravate people on a lot of levels,” Dustin Seabourn, a frequent park visitor, told CBS4 of the time-restricted passes. “An advanced setup people have to plan days if not weeks, if not months, if not sadly years out. I think there’s a downside to that.”
Yet with the ever-growing population along the Front Range, many agree there needs to be more rules to protect the state park.
“I feel like more oversight might be better,” Seabourn said.
“Of course I want to spend as much time here as I can and as much time as I want, but to be fair we have to do something to manage [the congestion],” Frederick added.
CPW is hosting another open house on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. at the Avalon Ballroom in Boulder to discuss the Visitor Management Plan.
Members of the public can also provide input using an online survey. The survey is open until Sept. 30.