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Ozark National Scenic Riverways Announces Changes to Recreation Fees

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New rates for camping and cave tours will go into effect at Ozark National Scenic Riverways on April 15, 2022.

Rate adjustments will be implemented in the developed front-country campgrounds at Alley Spring, Big Spring, Two Rivers, Round Spring, and Pulltite. Increased rates will also apply to all back-country campgrounds, including those located at Big Tree, Grubb, Gooseneck, Bay Creek, Blue Spring, Rymers, Shawnee Creek, Two Rivers (back-country site), Log Yard, Powder Mill, Sinking Creek, Cedar Grove, and Dee Murray. Additionally, camping fees will be established at the Jerktail, Broadfoot, and Clubhouse back-country campgrounds. The campsites at Bachers and Baptizing Hole would be added to the back-country fee structure at Blue Spring Campground.

The new rates are as follows:

Peak Season Rates (April 15 – October 15)   Current Rate  New Rate 
Back-country campsite   $5/night  $10/night 
Back-country cluster campsite   $15/ night  $25/night 
Back-country group campsite  $50/night  $65/night 
Front-country non-electric campsite   $16/night  $20/night 
Front-country electric campsite   $19/night  $30/night 
Front-country cluster campsite   $35/night  $45/night 
Front-country group campsite  $100/night  $140/night 
Off-Season Rates (October 16 – April 14)  Current Rate  New Rate 
Front-country non-electric campsite   $0/night  $10/night 
Front-country electric campsite   $0/night  $20/night 
Front-country group campsite   $0/night  $50/night 
Chubb Hollow group campsite    $0/night  $25/night 
Round Spring Cave Tours (Memorial Day to Labor Day)  Current Rate  New Rate 
Cave tour (adult)   $5 per person  $10 per person 
Cave tour (child age 12 and under)   $2 per person  $5 per person 

Public feedback on proposed fee increases was sought during a 45-day comment period in late 2021.  During that period, 43 correspondences were received. Commenters were generally supportive of the proposed rate increases for front-country campsites, back-country group campsites, and cave tours. A number of commenters expressed concern about the level of the proposed increase for regular back-country campsites and suggested a smaller increase in those areas.

“We appreciate those that took the time to review the proposed rate adjustments and offer their feedback,” said Superintendent Jason Lott. “After considering all the comments, we adjusted the proposed rate for back-country campsites as was recommended. The rate increase will allow us to enhance our services in park campgrounds and be used for on-going park enhancements, like new trails, flood-resilient restrooms, visitor programs and exhibits, expanded trash collection, and park signs. Visitors will see an immediate use of these funds with the installation of seven new vault restrooms later in 2022, located at Rymers, Bay Creek, Akers, Sinking Creek, Blue Spring on the Current, Pin Oak, and Big Tree.”  

In 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act which allows Ozark National Scenic Riverways to keep approximately 96% of fees collected for operating and maintaining the park. This includes day-to-day costs for operating campgrounds, maintenance such as trash removal, and servicing restroom facilities, as well as longer-term improvements like upgrading restrooms and showers, constructing and maintaining trails, improving campgrounds, and providing programs for visitors.

Ozark National Scenic Riverways preserves 134 miles of the free-flowing Current and Jacks Fork rivers, the surrounding resources, and the unique cultural heritage of the Ozark people. 

Learn more at www.nps.gov/ozar

About the National Park Service

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

Featured image from National Park Service.

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