Mountain Project Logo

Eldo parking plan public input


Lane Mathis · · Denver, CO · Joined May 2017 · Points: 16
Tony B wrote:

Yes and in design terms, the tongue in cheek resposne is:
"That is a feature, not a bug."

Remember that the CPW statements to date include that visitation has doubled and they are trying to "mitigate" increased visitation.
Remember that 'Mitigate' = to make something less bad.

They can just increase the day pass. I buy a pass yearly just to go to Eldo. That's $80 the park services will lose if an additional parking pass is required. 

Doubling the day pass would increase revenue to sustain and pay for the upgrades proposed and won't burn annual pass holders.

Is there current data available for how many annual pass holders use the park versus day players? I'd bet good money that most folks are coming out a couple times a year on a day pass.

Of course this is all conjecture.
Eddie Taylor · · BROOMFIELD, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 81

Option A reserved parking,
Cons: You must reserve a parking spot in advance.

Option B bus+reserved parking+time limits,
Pros: You can ride a bus in (which I would do anyway if offered)
Cons: No big days on weekends, due to 8-hour time limit on reserved parking and the bus only running until 5.    

ErikaNW · · Golden, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 145

If you plan to fill the survey out, plan lots of time to really look at the scenarios, etc. I think I spent almost an hour on it. But please do fill it out - climber input is super important.

I am confused about why the shuttle bus is linked to scenario 2 which has the time-tiered paid parking system (4 hr vs 8 hr pass), no shuttle bus included with scenario 1, and no scenario 3 which should be shuttle bus only. Scenario1 gives a range of parking fees of $9-28, on top of your existing park pass. They state park pass holders will have discounted rates. Is that the $9 rate? Still expensive if you already purchased a pass. No fee estimates are provided for scenario 2, but 8-hr will be more costly than 4-hr.

Realizing they are in the initial stages of this, it still seems like the proposed plans/scenarios are not all that well thought out (or described) and leave it difficult for me personally to say I prefer one over the other.

Some concerns - what are they going to do about people who have the resources to hedge their bets and reserve spaces, but then no-show? Does that mean there are empty surplus spaces that could have been used by others? I also think they should have at least one area of parking that is left available for first-come first-serve. The 4-hr/8-hr option is really concerning to me as well - rushing to get back in your 4 or 8-hr window could impact safe decision making, especially in Eldo where descents are often complex and seem to always take more time than expected.

I understand visitor-ship nearly doubled in 2018 and something probably needs to happen. I'd love to see them start with a shuttle and maybe increase the day rate as suggested up-thread. I don't relish paying for parking on top of my pass, and would probably avoid climbing in Eldo. I really do hate the idea of pricing people out of our park systems.

Jon W · · Longmont Colorado · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 75

If they add a parking fee on top of the park pass, I won't renew my annual state park pass as eldo is about the only reason I need one. I imagine a lot of others will do the same.

As Lane suggest, doubling the day pass would address the problem without hurting those of us who use the park regularly. I imagine that most of the people that visit Eldo are doing so on day passes.

Simple solution

Patti Degner · · Boulder, CO · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 71

Of course doubling the day pass would be good for people who have annual passes, but I don't think the state parks will do that. I personally (and I think I speak for other climbers) get way more use out of my pass than $80. This means that the park is probably 'losing' money on me. I think you are right that most people who visit Eldo are doing so on day passes, and thier main revenue comes from these pricey day passes. If they increase the price of the day pass, it will decrease the number of people buying day passes, and it will likely decrease their overall revenue.

Mark A · · Golden, CO · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 91
Patti Degner wrote: Of course doubling the day pass would be good for people who have annual passes, but I don't think the state parks will do that. I personally (and I think I speak for other climbers) get way more use out of my pass than $80. This means that the park is probably 'losing' money on me. I think you are right that most people who visit Eldo are doing so on day passes, and thier main revenue comes from these pricey day passes. If they increase the price of the day pass, it will decrease the number of people buying day passes, and it will likely decrease their overall revenue.

The thing is it seems the intent is to limit use, or at least limit growth in use.  I doubt any change would result in a net loss in revenue.

Marta Perales · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2019 · Points: 0

Thx for your contribution. Its very useful for me and mi family

Jim Turner · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 295

This graphic from CPW’s website raises some questions.


It’s encouraging that the state acknowledges that Eldo is World class climbing (even if some do not agree with this;  it might be the best non-alpine climbing in the area).   Will climbing therefore be given preference over picnicking?  I sure hope so, since there are other places nearby (Golden Gate), that are just as good or better, with more capacity to handle expansion of picnic areas.

What caused  visitation to double between 2016-2018?  And which group represents the majority of this increase?  I’m guessing hikers, but not sure.  This needs to be known prior to developing the plan.  With so much other great hiking in the area, hikers should probably be encouraged to hike where there is just as good or better hiking, and where there is more opportunity to expand parking and widen roads.

Who is doing the illegal parking in town?   Not picnickers obviously, since the picnic area is far from town.  Is it climbers or hikers or both?  Need to know that in order to address the issue.

Eldo, as anywhere, should give preference to the highest and best use.  I I say this as a climber, hiker, picnicker, mountain biker.  The highest and best use for Eldo is the climbing.

People don’t travel to Colorado to hike or picnic at Eldo.  But they certainly travel here to climb at Eldo.  Parks and Wildlife should consider climbing Eldo to be an incredible resource for them, a feather in their cap.  Don’t damage that.
boo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 0

If Day Pass parties are the largest user (interesting to actually know these numbers), let that be the shuttle pool.  Annual pass persons, first come first serve.  If someone is hyper motivated to drive their Tesla into the park and buy an annual pass rather than take the bus........park makes more money to pay for the shuttle/park elsewhere system.....

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,352
Alan Coon wrote: Another strike against eldo 

Then the same goes for The Flatirons.  OSMP has been "mitigating" visitation by throttling parking for years now.

Nathan Sullivan · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Sep 2018 · Points: 0
Jim Turner wrote: 
What caused  visitation to double between 2016-2018?  And which group represents the majority of this increase?  I’m guessing hikers, but not sure.  This needs to be known prior to developing the plan.  With so much other great hiking in the area, hikers should probably be encouraged to hike where there is more opportunity to expand parking and widen roads.

There was a Colorado State Parks lady surveying people last time I was climbing there - she asked what we were doing (Climbing of course!), how many cars and people per car we had, and some other really pertinent questions.

I think they are gathering that data at least.
Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,352
Jim Turner wrote: 
Who is doing the illegal parking in town?   Not picnickers obviously, since the picnic area is far from town.  Is it climbers or hikers or both?  Need to know that in order to address the issue.

Well, clearly people who are either priced out of the park or there is no space for them...
So charging more for parking, making it hard to get, requiring an internet connection & advance reservation, or making things go by bus with 'last out' times will CERTAINLY not make that any less prevalent.
It's just going to encourage more of the same., regardless of which user group (hikers climbers or picnickers) is doing it.

mpech · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 2

I find it very difficult to believe that visitation to eldo could have doubled in a two-year period, after 11 years of "holding steady."

Options
1) their visitation data is crap
2) they are lying about the trends between 2005-2016. I would note that visitorship would only have to grow at a 5.5% rate per year from 2005-2018 for total # of visitors to double... 

Jim Turner · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 295
Tony B wrote:

Well, clearly people who are either priced out of the park or there is no space for them...
So charging more for parking, making it hard to get, requiring an internet connection & advance reservation, or making things go by bus with 'last out' times will CERTAINLY not make that any less prevalent.
It's just going to encourage more of the same., regardless of which user group (hikers climbers or picnickers) is doing it.

Good points.  My intention with my comment is that if it is mostly hikers illegally parking in town, then a good idea might be to work with Boulder County to expand the parking lots east of town, charge a fee there, then build connector trails into Eldo trails.  It seems like hikers would prefer that to parking in town, then hiking up the road past Bastille and on up, as they do now.  I don’t think that is the experience they were looking for anyway.  “Well kids, we drove all the way here, might as well hike on the road, sigh”.  If climbers, then something else needs to be done.

Long Ranger · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 316
Jim Turner wrote:

Good points.  My intention with my comment is that if it is mostly hikers illegally parking in town, then a good idea might be to work with Boulder County to expand the parking lots east of town, charge a fee there, then build connector trails into Eldo trails.  It seems like hikers would prefer that to parking in town, then hiking up the road past Bastille and on up, as they do now.  I don’t think that is the experience they were looking for anyway.  “Well kids, we drove all the way here, might as well hike on the road, sigh”.  If climbers, then something else needs to be done.

I mean's there's already Marshall Mesa and the connector trails, but you may want to double-check your mileage - it's a bit on the long side for a casual hiker that just wants to hike for a half hour, and take some snapshots. 

Pretty reasonable bike ride (esp. on the road), so I'll be riding to Eldo, as I have been every other time I go. Maybe in 20 years I'll be able to ride into Eldo, then out of Eldo to the west, but I'm not holding my breath on that. 

I get that riding a bike from out of town isn't realistic for everyone, but it's what I do for the OSMP/Flatirons as well. It's practically what I do for everything else, including the Park. If I can do it, you can do it too.
Jim Turner · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 295

To clarify, I’m suggesting to encourage hikers to park at these two lots then hike into Eldo.

Long Ranger · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 316

I guess it's a weird premise to start with, "hikers are the ones illegally parking in town", and the solution is for them to start a mile out of the State Park, parking at a spot that's already something you need to pay for (if you're not a Boulder resident) and which fills up.

I guess I just disagree with you that one user group should somehow get precedence over another. It's not the, "The Eldorado Climbing-Explicitly-For-Climbers, Park". That type of exclusivity doesn't go very far.

Jim Turner · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 295

I said “if” it’s hikers.  It might be climbers.

Regardless, if I am hiking I don’t really care if I have to start at point A or point B, since I’m going for mileage or hours.  For climbing it makes a lot of difference where I park.  I would think this same logic applies to most climbers and hikers, especially since hiking there doesn’t get you to a destination such as a peak (or does it?).

And I’m not saying to ban hikers from parking in Eldo.  I’m saying to improve their experience with a better place to park that doesn’t result in them hiking on the road.  Incentivize it by charging them for parking but waiving the park entrance fee.  Other state parks don’t charge hikers and walkers.

As far as preference,  I just don’t think a very average picnic experience should be given the same preference points as a national climbing destination.

Long Ranger · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 316

Eh, I don't know if the goal of all hikers, or hiking in general is, "mileage or hours". Maybe people just want to be surrounded by some pretty cliffs while taking a walk up Rattlesnake? Or maybe a mile is all they got in them legs? Or they're old/injured? See what I'm getting at?

Regardless, whatever the policy is, I would be very, very, very surprised if there's precedence made over parking for specific user groups over another. It just sounds, I dunno: selfish? As if humping a rope/rack gains one extra prettty princess parking privileges. I can't see that being such a great argument - especially since big projects require the coordination of various user groups.

Martin le Roux · · Superior, CO · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 317
Jim Turner wrote: To clarify, I’m suggesting to encourage hikers to park at these two lots then hike into Eldo.

Unfortunately "these two lots" (S Mesa and Doudy Draw) fill up even faster than Eldo. In theory there's room to expand the Doudy Draw lot with minimal ecological or aesthetic damage (it's surrounded by flat grassland with an electrical sub-station a few hundred yards away). But that would be up to Boulder OSMP and in practice they've shown no interest in doing so.

One potential benefit of the proposed shuttle bus is that it would allow people to park at Highway 93/Marshall and take the bus to these trailheads.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Colorado
Post a Reply to "Eldo parking plan public input"

Log In to Reply