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RMNP increasing fees for park entry, camping

Park officials says the fee increases, which take effect ahead of Memorial Day weekend, will help improve and maintain high-quality visitor services.

ESTES PARK, Colo — Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is increasing the cost of one-day vehicle passes from $25 to $30 starting next month. 

Park officials said the increase, which goes into effect May 27, is necessary to improve and maintain high quality services for the park's more than 4.4 million visitors annually. 

Other park entrance fees, including the RMNP seven-day pass and the RMNP annual pass, will remain the same.   

"Park staff are committed to keeping Rocky Mountain National Park affordable and providing all visitors with the best possible experience," a news release from RMNP says. "This fee increase is still an incredible value when considering other comparable family and recreational experiences."

RMNP is also increasing camping fees at all of its campgrounds with the exception of The Longs Peak Campground, which will remain $30 per night. Camping fee increases include:  

  • Winter campground fees are increasing from $20 to $30 per night starting Oct. 12, 2022. 
  • Summer campground fees increasing from $30 to $35 beginning summer of 2023.
  • Group campground fees going up $10 for each tier in group size to $50, $60 or $70.  

Park staff solicited public input on the proposed fee increases last fall. During the public comment period, 264 formal comments were received related to the proposed changes to vehicle entrance passes and campground overnight fees, park officials said. 

Commenters who opposed fee increases often cited socioeconomic concerns and affordability for all visitors. 

According to park officials, some of the projects funded through the collection of entrance station and campground fees include: 

Hazard Tree Mitigation: The park is among many areas along the Rocky Mountains where trees have been dying from a beetle epidemic. Recreation fee monies have funded extensive mitigation of hazard trees in or near developed areas and other popular park facilities, such as campgrounds, parking lots, road corridors, housing areas and visitor centers. 

Hiking Trail Repairs and Improvements: Many hiking trail repair projects have been funded by recreation fee monies, such as repairing washed out sections of trail, the installation of bridges, and the installation of vault toilets at heavily used trailheads.     

Wilderness Campsites Improvements: Rocky Mountain National Parks wilderness campsites are used by thousands of backcountry campers each year. Recreation fee monies help fund the maintenance of these cherished campsites.

Bear Management: Park entrance and campground fees help keep bears wild at Rocky Mountain National Park. Thanks in part to fee dollars collected over the past 20 years, 100% of the park’s garbage cans, recycling bins, and dumpsters are now bear-resistant. The park has also gone from zero food storage lockers to 352. Your recreation fees also help support visitor education programs focused on black bears.  

Restoration of Historic Rock Walls along Trail Ridge Road: The historic rock walls along Trail Ridge Road provide for visitor safety and a visually pleasant drive. Originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, recreation fee program funding allows for damaged sections of these rock walls to be restored by Rocky Mountain National Park staff who specialize in rock work.  

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