Campers headed to Conundrum Hot Springs will be able to purchase a permit beginning in mid-April.
There are 17 designated campsites available per night. Permits are $10 per reservation, not per person or per night.
The U.S. Forest Service adopted a plan in 2017 to minimize damage to natural resources in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. The overnight permit system at Conundrum Hot Springs covers all of Conundrum Creek Valley from Silver Dollar Pond to Triangle Pass.
Campsites can hold between two and six people, and a permit allows groups to stay up to three nights during peak season.
There will be a maximum of 68 people camping in the area under the new system. District ranger Karen Schroyer said in the past, there have been as many as 300 campers at the hot springs on popular weekends.
“We’re another step closer to reaching some of our goals and protecting this high alpine and fragile ecosystem,” Schroyer said.
Permits will be first-come, first-served. Schroyer said anyone who camps without a permit will be asked to move outside of the permit area and may face fines.
Conundrum Hot Springs is the first area in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness to require permitting for overnight use.