Clear Creek News Briefs

Corinne Westeman
Posted 1/26/22

The reservation system at Mount Evans will return this summer, the U.S. Forest Service has confirmed. Those wanting to park at Mount Goliath, Summit Lake and/or the summit between 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. will need a reservation.

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Clear Creek News Briefs


USFS keeps reservation system for Mount Evans

The reservation system at Mount Evans will return this summer, the U.S. Forest Service has confirmed.

Those wanting to park at Mount Goliath, Summit Lake and/or the summit between 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. will need a reservation. Those wanting to drive the highway only can get a special pass at the entrance station.

The highway between Echo Lake and the summit typically opens on Memorial Day weekend, although that is subject to weather and road conditions.

USFS spokeswoman K. Reid Armstrong said the program last year was an overall success, as it reduced crowds, shortened wait times at the entrance station, and helped preserve the mountain’s flora and fauna.

The agency will be making a few adjustments based on feedback, such as addressing the lack of cell service at the entrance station. Visitors who didn’t have a reservation needed to go online to make one, and Armstrong described how people had to drive back down Highway 103 to get a signal and reach the website.

Armstrong said the USFS is still determining a specific solution but said people should expect “a better opportunity for people who don’t come prepared.”

She emphasized that, to avoid this problem, people should make reservations in advance. Armstrong said reservations should be available starting in mid-May and can be made up to a month in advance.

Costs depend on the type of pass visitors want to purchase. Some are $15 plus a $2 processing fee.

For more information on the U.S. Forest Service’s reservation system at Mount Evans and other Front Range sites, visit or

Suspect named after truck drives into Idaho Springs home

An Empire man has turned himself into police custody after he allegedly drove his truck into an Idaho Springs home on Jan. 15.

Daniel Martinez, 60, was identified as the suspect in the case, according to a Jan. 19 Idaho Springs Police Department press release. Police issued a warrant for his arrest on Jan. 19, and Martinez turned himself into police a few days later.

Shortly after midnight on Jan. 15, a truck drove into a house in the 1500 block of Idaho Springs’ Colorado Boulevard. The house was occupied at the time, but no one was injured.

The truck had left the scene by the time Idaho Springs officers arrived. Officers determined that the truck veered off the roadway in the 1500 block of Colorado Boulevard, struck a flower container and then drove into the side of the home. The truck then backed out of the home, struck multiple parked cars and fled the area.

Around 10:30 a.m. that day, sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a stolen vehicle call near Empire. Deputies contacted Martinez, who wanted to report his truck as stolen. He said he had found it severely damaged that morning a few blocks from his home.

After further questioning by deputies, Martinez reportedly confessed that his truck hadn’t been stolen, and that he was the driver who had struck the Idaho Springs home, according to the release.

According to ISPD Chief Nate Buseck, the Jan. 19 warrant for Martinez’s arrest contained: one count of reckless driving, three counts of reckless endangerment, one count of leaving the scene of an accident without providing information and one count of failure to notify police.

Buseck added that ISPD believes Martinez was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident, based on witnesses who saw him leave a bar shortly before the crash. However, because more than 10 hours had passed between the crash and when deputies contacted Martinez, there was insufficient blood-alcohol evidence to include a charge of drunken driving on the warrant.

As to why law enforcement didn’t arrest Martinez during the Jan. 15 contact, Buseck said that ISPD wanted to gather witness testimonies and video evidence to build a solid case before handing it over to the district attorney’s office.

“ISPD empathizes with those that would push for a more timely arrest,” Buseck said in a Jan. 21 email to the Courant. “However, ISPD ... did not want to rush the investigation by making a hasty arrest without first gathering all the evidence.”

Since the accident, the impacted residents have been staying at local hotels, as the home is unlivable until the damage is repaired.

Kristine Marston started a GoFundMe page to raise $10,000 after her family lost both home and drivable vehicle in the accident. As of noon Jan. 24, people had donated almost $1,200. Others online also planned to donate clothes to the family as well.

“This accident is a lot for anyone to handle, let alone a family with medical problems as well,” Marston wrote on the GoFundMe page. “... Anyone who can donate clothes, maybe a running vehicle for a super-reasonable price, or point us to an affordable home near our community would be greatly appreciated.

“I know times are tough for so many people right now,” she continued, “so even a small amount will help us get our life back.”

For more information, visit


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