Friday, May 22, 2020

Enjoy the Memorial Day weekend responsibly, officials say.

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2020 at 3:40 PM

  • Courtesy city of Colorado Springs website
Thank goodness for three-day weekends. That's a sentiment whirling through everyone's mind as we anticipate the Memorial Day holiday, but there are a few things to keep in mind during the era of COVID-19.

First, the Pikes Peak Regional Joint Information Center reminds people who head for city and county parks, trails and open spaces:
• If a parking lot is full, find a new place. DO NOT create an unsafe situation by making your own parking space. Parks are generally most crowded between 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
• Playgrounds and pavilions remain closed
• Do not gather in groups larger than 10 people
• Continue hand washing and other good hygiene practices
• Wear a face covering when you’re not able to maintain 6 feet of distance in public
May 22 marks the first day of summer hours on Pikes Peak-America’s Mountain, the city says in a news release, noting that through Sept. 30, the gates open at 7:30 a.m. Last entry is at 6 p.m.

The mandatory shuttle service for guests begins May 22, as during the last two summers, due to construction of the Pikes Peak Summit Complex. Only vehicles with a disability placard or disability license plate and vehicles with young children in car seats will be allowed to park on the summit.

Also from the release:
In response to COVID-19, modifications are being applied to shuttle service. This includes physical distancing for all waiting lines, less than 50 percent capacity in each shuttle and increased cleaning and disinfection of shuttles throughout the day. For the safety of all staff and guests, face coverings are required for all guests riding the shuttle, drivers and parking attendants. Guests who do not have a face covering to use in the shuttle will only be allowed to drive to the 16-mile parking area. Face coverings are available for purchase at the gift shops.

Guests are encouraged to purchase admission tickets online in advance of their visit. There is a 20 percent discount for guests who purchase one-day admission tickets online during the month of May using discount code “May20.” As always, access is weather permitting and visitors should call 719-385-7325 for the most up-to-date road conditions. Refunds are not available.

In addition to the summit, there are other areas to explore on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, including the North Slope Recreation Area, which features numerous opportunities for hiking, biking, as well as three reservoirs for fishing and boating. A free parking permit is required for access to the Catamount Reservoirs. These permits can be reserved online and a limited quantity is available at the Gateway on a first-come basis.

The South Slope Recreation Area is set to open June 4, weather permitting. Use of this area is by permit only. Registration opens May 28. It is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

U.S. Forest Service officials also remind Memorial Day recreationists to use these national resources wisely.

Before enjoying the outdoors, plan ahead, they say. Visitors are encouraged to check with local forest and grassland offices first.

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