Forest Service makes final decision to limit camping in Maroon Bells Wilderness

Nov 2, 2017

Conundrum Hot Springs is crowded and popular, and backpackers can now expect to make a reservation to camp there.
Credit Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Next summer, backpackers planning to stay overnight at Conundrum Hot Springs will need reservations.


The U.S. Forest Service released its final decision on a plan that is meant to limit overuse and damage to fragile ecosystems in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. Conundrum Hot Springs takes top priority, and backpackers headed there next summer will have to make a $10 reservation.

The plan sets caps on the number of campers at 30 different places in the Wilderness area, and the Forest Service can require permits if any of those spots see overuse.

The Four Pass Loop and Capitol Lake araes are also seeing heavy traffic; permits there could happen as soon as 2019.

Officials are still working out some details, like the number of nights groups can camp in permitted areas.