'Unprecedented visitation' seen at Jeffco parks ahead of busy Memorial Day weekend

Posted at 6:36 PM, May 19, 2020

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — Everyone getting outside has been a strain on the parks, especially in Jefferson County. With the busy Memorial Day weekend coming, they hope it's doesn't take it up a notch.

This is Colorado. We have a desire to enjoy the peaceful nature and get away from the confines of stay-at-home life -- but the great outdoors is getting crowded.

"It's a turn off for riding if I see a parking lot just slammed," Apex Park visitor Charlie Nicholson said.

"It has been very busy. We have seen unprecedented visitation since people were told to stay at home," JeffCo Open Space Visitor Services Manager Mary Ann Bonnell said.

Jeffco Open Space even stopped taking camping reservations because of the overwhelming crowds.

"As we look at our resources being stretched, that was one thing we thought we could probably table for a little bit," Bonnell said.

It's not just the parks. Video from Boulder County Public Health shows crowds on Boulder Creek Monday. And we're now creeping up on one of The busiest outdoor weekends of the year.

"We know that people might have a few more options now that more things are opening up, so we're hoping that will disperse a little bit," Bonnell said.

A big weekend is precisely why so many people decided to get out on a Tuesday.

If you want to head out to a park this weekend, Jeffco Open Space recommends using the lot spot app to check for parking lot availability. If the past couple of months are any indication, it'll be busy outside.