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The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers issues in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado including water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development. APR’s Environment Reporter is Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

Conundrum camping permit details released

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

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.


Aspen native Elizabeth Stewart-Severy is excited to be making a return to both the Red Brick, where she attended kindergarten, and the field of journalism. She has spent her entire life playing in the mountains and rivers around Aspen, and is thrilled to be reporting about all things environmental in this special place. She attended the University of Colorado with a Boettcher Scholarship, and graduated as the top student from the School of Journalism in 2006. Her lifelong love of hockey lead to a stint working for the Colorado Avalanche, and she still plays in local leagues and coaches the Aspen Junior Hockey U-19 girls.
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