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Will fast pass lanes return to Rocky Mountain National Park?

The fast pass gates were last in operation in 2019
Rocky Mountain National Park sign
Posted at 4:37 PM, Jul 01, 2022

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. — Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is exploring the idea of reintroducing a fast pass at park entrances for visitors with an annual or lifetime pass.

RMNP constructed the fast pass lane at the Beaver Meadows entrance in 2004 and an additional fast pass lane was constructed at the Grand Lake western entrance in 2011. Visitors who had an annual park pass or lifetime pass were able to use the pass to operate an automated gate and enter the park. It's one of the only parks to have a fast pass lane, according to RMNP.

Then, in 2019, the National Park Service changed the format of the passes, and the new ones were — and are — not compatible with the current fast pass gate system technology.

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RMNP is now asking for public input on a proposal to transition to windshield transponders for interested annual and lifetime pass holders, which would allow them to access the fast pass line outside of timed-entry permit reservation system times. The device would send a signal to the park's entrance gate to automatically open the gate arm. This would come with a $15 expanded amenity fee.

The transponder is a small, credit card-sized device that attaches to a vehicle's window, according to the park. They are not removable or transferable, and are only programmed to work at RMNP.

Currently, due to construction at the Grand Lake entrance to the park, the only place these fast passes would initially work is the Beaver Meadows entrance. However, the park would later install them at the Fall River Entrance sometime in the summer of 2023 and the Grand Lake entrance in the spring of 2024.

READ MORE: New gate, less wait: The idea behind a RMNP proposal

RMNP said visitors who use the transponders must also have their annual or lifetime pass with them, and staff will randomly check to make sure all pass-holders are in compliance. Anybody found using the transponder without a pass will have the device disabled.

If the proposal is approved, RMNP would start selling the transponders in the late spring of 2023.

To comment on the proposal, click here and then select the "Open for Comment" link on the left side of the screen or send a letter to the following address:
Rocky Mountain National Park
Office of the Superintendent
1000 US Highway 36
Estes Park, CO 80517

Public comments will be accepted from July 1-31.