For months, you've needed to make a reservation in order to visit Rocky Mountain National Park - but not anymore; Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) has officially lifted its timed entry permit requirement.

As of Tuesday, Oct. 11, timed entry permits are no longer required to enter Rocky Mountain National Park.

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About Rocky Mountain National Park's Reservation System

Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the busiest national parks in the United States, coming in as the third busiest park in the country in 2019 with over 4.6 million visitors - a 42 percent increase in visitation in seven years.

Visitor crowding and congestion at the park have led to increased negative impacts on visitor and staff safety, resource protection, visitor experience, and operational capacity, park officials say.

Rocky Mountain National Park/Facebook
Rocky Mountain National Park/Facebook
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As a result, RMNP has piloted various visitor use management strategies over the last six years.

"A pilot Timed Entry Permit Reservation System has been in place during the busiest hours of the day and during the park's peak summer season to help reduce negative resource impacts, traffic congestion, and visitor crowding", an Oct. 11 Facebook post via Rocky Mountain National Park reads.

The Grass Isn't Greener On The Other Side

While many parkgoers will be delighted to hear that they'll no longer need to make reservations to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, the lack of a structured reservation system at the park is expected to come with its own consequences.

Rocky Mountain National Park/Facebook
Rocky Mountain National Park/Facebook
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"Visitors planning to come to Rocky Mountain National Park, especially on weekends, should be prepared for long lines and traffic congestion throughout the park", RMNP's Facebook post reads.

While a reservation isn't required, a valid park entrance pass is required to enter the park at all times.

Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park - Know Before You Go

Fall is one of the best times of the year to explore Colorado's great outdoors, Rocky Mountain National Park included. Plan on visiting the park sometime this season? Here are a few tips to keep in mind, courtesy of RMNP officials:

  • Pack Your Patience - Expect crowds in parking areas and on trails
  • Be Prepared Upon Arrival - If you already have a pass to the park, be sure to have your pass and photo ID out and ready to show the park ranger at the entrance gate
  • Have a Plan - Take time to decide before you arrive what you would like to see and do. Visit www.nps.gov/romo to see park maps and more.
  • Know Your Limits - When recreating in the park, know the limits of everyone in your group. Watch the weather and be prepared to turn back if people are tired or if the weather changes unexpectedly.
Rocky Mountain National Park/Facebook
Rocky Mountain National Park/Facebook
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For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park, visit nps.gov. 

25 Things To Know About Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is located in northeast Colorado between the mountain towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake. The Beaver Meadows entrance is about a 90-minute drive from Denver. Scroll on for 25 things to know about Rocky Mountain National Park before you go.

RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

STUNNING: Nighttime photos show the Milky Way over 9 national parks and monuments

Colorado is home to four national parks and eight national monuments. Our neighbors to the west, Utah, boasts five national parks and seven national monuments. Also within reach are the parks and monuments of New Mexico and Arizona.

If you're the road-trip type, they're all reachable in a day's drive from Colorado.

While the majority of tourists visiting these parks only witness the phenomenal views during the day, there's a sight to be seen under the stars.

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