Red Rocks, Colorado, is one of the biggest attractions in all of Denver. Many drone pilots also see this place as a good spot for their aircraft. However, before you fly out, it is important to know the laws guiding drones flying there.
The simple answer to the question, can you fly a drone at Red Rocks, Colorado is no. This is because flying from a city park is prohibited, according to the drone laws in Colorado. Red Rocks falls in this categorization, so it is not advisable to fly a drone there. Doing this will incur sanctions.
Can You Fly A Drone At The Rocky Mountain National Park?
Just like with Red Rocks, a lot of drone pilots see the Rocky Mountain National Park as for drone shots.
The simple answer to the question about flying drones at the park is no. Seeing that Rocky Mountain National Park is a city park, flying a drone out there is illegal based on the Colorado drone laws discussed above. It is, therefore, best to avoid flying a drone there to avoid heavy sanctions.
All You Need To Know About Colorado Drone Laws
Before flying your drone out anywhere in Colorado, you should be aware of the drone laws that guide the state. Ignorance is not an excuse in law, and you do not want to be caught flying your drone in an illegal location. Whether you live in Colorado or you are a visiting drone pilot, knowing all about the laws below will help you to fly without any trouble.
The first thing for you to note is that there are two classes of drone pilots recognized in the state of Colorado; they are:
- Recreational Drone Pilots
- Commercial Drone Pilots
Recreational Drone Pilots
A recreational drone pilot is one who flys his drone only for fun. This means that you are not using your drone for official assignments or paid jobs. Using a drone recreationally is governed by the FAA model aircraft rules. All that pertains to drones in these rules are highlighted below:
- You must ensure to register your drone. Registering your drone is the first step to take after acquiring your drone. This gives you the authority to fly in Colorado legally. When flying, always ensure to have your proof of registration at hand, to avoid unwarranted trouble.
- Fly at the regulated height of 400 feet or below always.
- Do not use a drone registered for recreational purposes to carry out commercial functions. Heavy sanctions will follow if you are caught doing this.
- Always keep your drone in sight when flying. Losing sight of your drone could result in losing it, or worse still, collision with other aircraft.
- Do not fly your drone at night unless it has lighting features.
- Also, ensure to be sober whenever you are flying. Never fly your drone under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Take permission from appropriate authorities before flying in controlled airspaces.
Following all of these rules, you can fly recreationally in Colorado without any trouble.
Commercial Drone Pilots
Commercial drone pilots use their aircraft for business and work purposes. They are governed by the FAA Part 107 regulations. Commercial drone pilots must pass a test before they are allowed to fly in Colorado. Below are some of the requirements to fly a drone commercially in Colorado:
- Having a Remote Pilot Certificate is a must. The FAA must issue this certificate for you to be eligible to fly commercially.
- Your UAV must be registered with the FAA. You can do this registration on the FAADroneZone website.
- At all times, your UAV must not weigh more than 55 pounds. This includes payload before takeoff as well.
- Do not fly close to another aircraft.
- Always fly in Class G airspace unless you have permission to do otherwise.
- Your drone should always be less than 55 lbs when flying.
- Your drone should always remain in your line of sight.
Fulfilling these requirements will ensure that you can fly a drone commercially in Colorado.
Best Places To Fly A Drone In Colorado
We have discussed the rules that guide flying in Colorado, so it is left to highlight the best spots to apply these rules. As stated earlier, Colorado is the largest state in the United States of America, and as expected, it has a good number of amazing spots for flying drones. Drone shots, videos as well as regular drone flying. See the list below.
- Shoshone National Forest: If you are looking for a place with a large expanse of space to fly your drone, the Shoshone National Forest is the best place for you. The large forest is a legal spot to fly drones and covers a stunning 2.4 million acres of land. The attraction that this place offers is its beautiful scenery, with trees and lakes nearby for you to take beautiful aerial pictures of. If you are a lover of nature, the Shoshone National Forest is the best place for you to fly your drone in Colorado. It has a Class G airspace class, which means it is uncontrolled, allowing drone pilots to fly at will.
- Bighorn Medicine Wheel: The Bighorn Medicine Wheel is a site with a lot of history, one every drone pilot in Colorado should check out. Located in the Bighorn National Forest, you get to see the large stone structure made solely of limestone, as well as the porcupine falls. Both of these makeup for beautiful scenery. It has a Class G airspace class, which means it is uncontrolled, allowing drone pilots to fly at will.
- Hanging Lake: Located in the White River National Forest, Hanging Lake is an excellent spot for drone pilots in Colorado. You get to take perfect shots of the crystal clear water, as well as the beautiful flowing waterfalls. Thankfully, it is legal to fly your drone here, so you do not have to worry about the authorities. It has a Class G airspace class, which means it is uncontrolled, allowing drone pilots to fly at will.
- Ketring Park: Located in Littleton, Colorado, the Ketring Park has a Class G airspace class, which means it is uncontrolled, allowing drone pilots to fly at will. Opposite Ketring Lake, the Ketring Park has a wide green area, giving drone pilots enough room to fly their drones. Part of Ketring Park's attractions is the trees and mountain tops which can be seen beyond them, providing truly stunning drone shots.
- William Frederick Hayden Park: Located in Lakewood, Colorado, is the William Frederick Hayden Park. The park sits on Green Mountain, covering about 2,400 acres of space. The park offers a beautiful view of the Colorado skyline. The park is particularly great for seeing and capturing the aerial view of Denver. If you are a drone pilot in Denver interested in taking shots of the Denver landscape, William Frederick Park is the best place for you to fly your drone. The park has a Class G airspace class, which means it is uncontrolled, allowing drone pilots to fly at will.
- Chatfield State Park: Chatfield State Park is another great location in Littleton, Colorado. Covering about 3,889 acres, Chatfield State Park has amazing sights that make for great drone shots. You can be sure to have a great time flying your drone here. The park has a Class G airspace class, which means it is uncontrolled, allowing drone pilots to fly at will.
Safety Measures To Follow When Flying In Colorado
Below are some safety measures to keep in mind when flying in Colorado.
- You are not supposed to fly over protected public areas where a lot of people gather such as stadiums, racetracks as well as national parks. Drones have been utilized for espionage in the past, thereby making their usage over large groups of people prohibited.
- You must always maintain a distance of at least 25 feet away from people when flying your drone. This distance is a necessary safety precaution that must be adhered to at all times. Also, remember to avoid flying over a crowd in a protected space.
- Look out for No-Fly Zones. Flying over No-Fly Zones can get you in legal trouble and leave you at the risk of sanctions as well as fines.
- The drone must always remain in your line of sight.
- You must fly your drone fly with groundspeed at or below 100 mph.
- You must not fly a drone from a moving vehicle.
There are other safety considerations that apply in special circumstances only, for example, if there was a wildfire you are not to fly your drone in that area and this applies not only to Red Rocks, Colorado but to every state. The only type of unmanned flying aircrafts allowed are those operated by the fire department, the military, or any other authorized team with the clearance and training to fly a drone under in this situation.
The laws guiding drone flying are stringent, so it is vital to take them very seriously. Always use your drone for the purpose for which it was registered. Also, follow the safety measures when flying out to the locations listed above. By doing all of this, you can be sure to enjoy your flying at all times.
Shawn Manaher loves to play with new toys and dive into new hobbies. As a serial entrepreneur, work definitely comes first but there is always room for hobbies.