There isn’t much information on the status of resuming backcountry wilderness camping reservations this year in Rocky Mountain National Park except that the park will release details of a new plan on March 18.
Reservations were halted twice after high volume overwhelmed the online system, forcing park officials to put everything on hold.
Reservations for May through October were supposed to begin on March 1, but high volume that day crashed the Pay.gov system. Four days later, the park announced reservations would be broken down by month to spread out volume on the server, beginning this week. Permits for May and June went on sale Monday, but when permits for July went on sale Wednesday, the system crashed again.
Why did it happen?
“Because May and June have fewer reservations than July and August, the system worked on Monday when visitors could book reservations for those two months,” explained the park’s public affairs officer, Kyle Patterson. “To demonstrate the load and comparison, last year there were 300 overnight backpacking camping permit reservations made for May and June. This year there were 1,200.”
And on Wednesday, Patterson said, “visitors were expected to be able to book July, which on average is three times the volume of May and June combined. Because of the volume of people simultaneously filling out forms for reservations, Pay.gov was overloaded.”
But why couldn’t Pay.gov handle the load?
“We have used Pay.gov in previous years and the system has worked,” Patterson said. “Due to the increased volume this year, it’s adding additional challenges to that system. Pay.gov is a secure system that takes payments and is not a reservation system. We will be working on longer-term and more sustainable solutions for online reservations next year.”
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Adventurist, to get outdoors news sent straight to your inbox.
Source: Read Full Article