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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Paid Parking at Trailhead Coming to Busy Quandary Peak July 30

Mountain goats cross the eastern ridge of Quandry Peak (14,264 ft) in 2014. (Patrick Traylor, Denver Post file)

Hikers must pay to park at the Quandry Peak trailhead starting July 30 and Summit County officials have given hikers the option of a free shuttle service from Breckenridge to the summit in an effort to address congestion at the foot of Colorado’s busiest fourteen. Will go C . The details of the plan were approved on Tuesday byUnti Board of Commissioners.

“The goal is to eliminate or reduce neighborhood concerns for parking on county streets and the impact of emergency services and challenges regarding their ability to reach the Quandary area as well as the McCullough Gulch area,” said assistant county manager Bentley Henderson. Said in an interview.

Quandry, which is located just three miles south of Breckenridge ski resort, The intersection was the state’s busiest in 2020, with 49,000 climbers, according to the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative. The status of the Quandry Peak Trailhead is one of three problematic high-use recreation areas in the White River National Forest that have been identified as a priority by Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams, as well as Maroon Bells – Snowmass Wilderness Area and trails in the East Vail area.

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In Quandary, there have been increasing complaints in recent years of cars parked on narrow streets after parking spaces have been filled. The lot currently has 47 parking spaces. Henderson said it will be expanded to about 60 locations over the next few weeks, and the spaces will be striped to make the most of the available space. The price of parking will vary from $20 to $5 depending on the length of stay.

However, shuttles from Breckenridge will be free for at least this year. This is being called a “pilot program,” meaning a test to see if it works as expected, with the cost being underwritten by the county. “They are supporting that effort this year,” Henderson said.

There will also be shuttles between the Quandary Peak Trailhead and the trailhead for McCullough Gulch, a popular family hike located nearby.

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“We intend to start running shuttles from one of the airport lots, which are north of the Breckenridge skiers parking lot on the northern edge of Breckenridge,” Henderson said. “Shuttles will start at around 4 pm and laps from Quandary Peak Lot back to the city. We are going to start with two of them and scale it up as needed based on usage and demand.”

The county also entered into an agreement with the Colorado State Patrol to prevent people from parking along Colorado Highway 9 on the floor of Hoosier Pass. After the state does not put a parking sign there, the Summit County Sheriff’s Deputy will be given the authority to write a parking ticket on that road as they do on a county road in the Quandary area.

“Trailhead and trail use has increased so much that people park on both sides of County Road,” Henderson said. “That parking then begins to spill onto the state highway, causing problems with Highway 9. The agreement is that the state is going to sign ‘No Parking’ along the highway, and then write to the Summit County Sheriff.” Parking tickets for that signage violation on behalf of the state patrol. Sheriffs will take an aggressive approach in parking management and parking violations beginning July 30 along both the county road and the state highway where you turn onto Blue Lakes Road.

Summit County isn’t oblivious that while Quandary attracts large numbers of hikers, many of them supporting local businesses, but the problem of overflow parking on the narrow streets needs to be addressed.

“We have some selfish motivations,” Henderson said. “We want to make sure we’re as responsive as possible, from an emergency standpoint, and to make sure people can still enjoy great hikes in Colorado.”

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