By Michael Abeyta

ASPEN, Colo. (CBS4)- Rocky Mountain National Park, Hanging Lake and Maroon Bells have one thing in common: they are three of Colorado’s most popular destinations.

“Maroon Bells is an iconic location in Colorado,” said David Boyd, the Public Affairs Officer for White River National Forest.

(credit: CBS)

They also are all three places that up until recently anyone that needed a summer getaway could go to any time they wanted. Now to see them you need to make a reservation. For Maroon Bells, the reservation system is to limit overcrowding.

“It was just becoming such a large number that it was unmanageable. So yeah, we were seeing you know some environmental damage,” said Boyd.

If you were hoping to see Maroon Bells this summer you can go online to www.aspenchamber.org starting Monday, April 11 to reserve your time. You can buy a parking pass for half a day, a full day or overnight or you can reserve a spot on a shuttle that will take you there and back.

Colorado wildflowers with a view of the Maroon Bells.

(credit: Mark Neitro)

“It’s very easy you can park down at Aspen Highlands and take the shuttle up, you know spend the time you want up there and then come back,” said Boyd.

While April may seem a little early to be thinking about summer fun in the mountains, booking now will make sure you are able to see Maroon Bells when you want to.

(credit: Danielle Chavira)

“The popular times go pretty quickly. So, you know I would get on there as soon as you can,” said Boyd.

A parking pass costs $10. The shuttle runs every 15 minutes 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fare is $16 or $10 for those over 65 or under 12.

Michael Abeyta