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Rocky Mountain National Park Visitors Unaware Of Reservation Program & Are Turned Away

ESTES PARK, Colo. (CBS4) - It's been a week since Rocky Mountain National Park instituted its timed entry program, but many visiting the beloved park didn't know anything about it. Hundreds of people sat in traffic on Saturday while they tried to get into Rocky Mountain National Park.

One of those people was Eddie, a biker from Julesburg.

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"I came up with my family. They're back there in the car, and we came up to do a little fishing and little driving around the mountains looking at the beautiful scenery," he said.

It wasn't a short drive to get from Colorado's Eastern Plains to Estes Park.

"Oh, it took me about three and a half four hours to get here," Eddie said. Be that as it may, as soon as he pulled up he had to break the bad news to his family.

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The park implemented a timed entry system which requires visitors go online to make reservations to get in. According to the park's website, the system "spreads use throughout the park to better utilize all parking and trailheads."

The system is temporary and 75 to 85% of the park's capacity in every day. By the looks of things on Saturday, Eddie wasn't the only one who didn't know about it because cars were being turned around at the gate.

Eddie says he plans to return another time. Perhaps before 9 a.m. or after 3 p.m. when you don't need a reservation to get into the park. The Bear Lake Road corridor is off limits during those times.

If you want to go there you have to wait until after 6 p.m.

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"I'm not too bummed out. I can turn around easy, but my grandkids and family are going to be a little bummed out about it."

If you are up in Estes Park and you need something to do because you didn't get a reservation, there are plenty of other hikes and places to see around town that aren't in Rocky Mountain National Park. If you are planning a trip or you just want to get more information about the program, you can visit

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