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Los Padres National Forest Increases Campground Fees

Starting this year, visitors to the Los Padres National Forest (California) may notice a price increase in overnight camping fees.

The change affects several campgrounds within the national forest, with individual overnight fees increasing by $10, with most sites bumping up from $30 per night to $40 per night. Group campsites will also see an increase between $25 and $50 per night. 

As per a press release, the fee increases affect 33 campgrounds and one day-use site operated by a concessionaire special use permit under the Granger-Thye Act authority.

According to officials from Los Padres National Forest, the fee increases are necessary to offset rising expenses, including the impact of inflation, fuel costs, and California’s upcoming minimum wage increase. 

While the fee increase may be a disappointment to some visitors, the additional funds will help to ensure that the national forest’s facilities and services are well-maintained and able to provide a high-quality experience for all visitors.

“The additional fees collected will provide for facility improvements, fund ongoing maintenance of these sites to the high level expected by the public and address annual operation and maintenance needs,” the release indicated. 

According to its website, Los Padres National Forest offers various outdoor recreation activities, including camping, hiking, scenic driving, OHV riding and camping, equestrian riding, fishing, snow play, beach walks, wildflower viewing, picnicking, rock climbing, and more.

Los Padres has a variety of beautiful campsites that cater to a range of preferences, including low to high elevation, riverside to forested, and primitive to developed. Most of the campsites tend to be geared towards a more primitive camping experience.

According to the USDA, there are over 50 undeveloped campgrounds in Los Padres National Forest that are free for public use. In addition, there are also camping opportunities available at Adventure Pass fee sites for a daily fee of $5 or an annual fee of $30.

Featured image from U.S. Forest Service – Los Padres National Forest.


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