Six Colorado State Park campgrounds are implementing a new program that requires campers to make site reservations in advance before using a campsite.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is testing a pilot program that will turn campgrounds into reservation only facilities. What that means to campers is they will be unable to camp in those state parks unless they have reserved a campsite.

The program is designed to prevent people from showing up at a campground and not being able to find a campsite because they are already taken. The new reservation system allows campers to make advance reservations at any time by calling 800-244-5613 or online at Colorado Parks and Wildlife Camping.

The system currently in place allows campers to choose and reserve campsites, leaving unreserved campsites open to first come, first served. The pilot reservation program guarantees all campers a campsite for the days they want to camp.

Five of the state parks, Cheyenne Mountain, Eleven Mile, Staunton, St. Vrain, and Trinidad Lake will begin reservation only camping on on July 1st.

One benefit of the new reservation only program is it will open Staunton State Park to camping for the first time. There will be 25 backcountry campsites available to reserve. Each site will have a 24-foot by 11-foot pad for tents and a bear-proof locker. There are no fire rings or pits as fires are prohibited in the campground.

Ridgway State Park will begin reservation only camping on September 15. Only campsites in the Pa-Co-Chu-Puck campground F and G loops will be reservation only. All other campsites will continue with the option of reservation or first-come basis.

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