Letter to the editor: Quandary trailhead plan punishes locals | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Quandary trailhead plan punishes locals

Nick Johnson

The Quandary Peak trailhead reservation plan prioritizes tourists over county residents.

The goal of the plan is to make accessing Quandary easier and curtail illegal parking. Hiking a 14er is not an attraction at Disney; It shouldn’t be easy! We are now encouraging people to begin this hike at noon during the monsoon season for public safety?

Most people hiking Quandary are clueless (see the trekking pole packaging that litters the route). After paying $20 for their noon time slot, are they really going to make safe choices as the storm clouds roll in? We don’t need more people on Quandary. This plan coddles those who are destroying the trail and pushes out those of us who clean up after them.

I often hike Quandary midweek after work for the sunset. There are never more than a couple cars. Even if I pay for a reservation my hike is now illegal since I am hiking after 7:30 p.m. How does this improve public safety? The shuttle is a great idea; requiring permits when there is no overcrowding is ludicrous.

Now that even the trails of Summit County are reserved for the wealthy elite, what’s left for the working locals? Don’t punish us for the sins of the “VIP” vacationers. Punish the offenders! Once news breaks in Denver that illegally parked cars at Summit trailheads are being ticketed or towed for hundreds of dollars people will correct their behavior. Enforce the rules that already exist before you make new rules.

But what if one of the jackasses gets upset about being held accountable for their selfish and illegal actions and doesn’t come back to buy chachkies on Main Street? Good riddance! There are plenty of decent people eager to take their place.

Catering to the lowest common denominator is bad for the mountain, public safety and our community.

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