This could be the summer to experience a new side of Pikes Peak.
South Slope Recreation Area permits are set to go on sale this week, two weeks ahead of the scheduled June 4 kickoff to the season.
That’s later than the target opening of Memorial Day weekend. Snow and ice on the remote chain of lakes was still clearing, said Jack Glavan, manager of Pikes Peak-America’s Mountain, the city of Colorado Springs enterprise operating the area.
As has been the case in South Slope’s five previous summers of public access, permits will be $20 per vehicle, with an eight-person limit per permit.
Last year, operators cut the area’s four days of access to three: Thursday, Friday and Saturday. That was in a stated attempt to offset costs.
As always, visitors will want to plan ahead and hope against bad weather — refunds are given in that case. From Colorado Springs, it might take some 90 minutes to drive to the area, off a bumpy stretch of Gold Camp Road outside Victor.
The gate opens at 7:30 a.m. and closes at 3 p.m. South Slope typically closes near the end of September.
For more information and registration, go to coloradosprings.gov/southslope.