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Big Fee Changes Proposed for Bryce Canyon and Zion Campgrounds

A pair of national parks in southwest Utah, Bryce Canyon and Zion, are contemplating significant fee alterations to address the expenses associated with the region’s surging popularity. 

According to an article by KSLTV5, last week, officials from both parks introduced proposals that would raise fees at several campgrounds, including North and Sunset campgrounds at Bryce Canyon and electric and non-electric sites at Lava Point, South, and Watchman campgrounds at Zion.

The proposed modifications suggest that all campsites at Bryce Canyon’s North and Sunset campgrounds would be priced at $30, a hike from the current $20 for tent-only loops and $30 for RV loops. Reservations for these campsites would be available up to a year in advance via Recreation.gov.  

Although the Sunset Campground operates on a first-come, first-served basis during winter, this system will remain unchanged for the North Campground during the colder months.

In contrast, the non-electric campsites at Zion’s South and Watchman campgrounds would be priced at $35 per night, with Lava Point campsites at $25 per night, marking an increase from the current $20 per night. Electric sites at Watchman Campground would see a price jump from $30 to $45 per night.

Additionally, a new $5 fee is being proposed for RV travelers using the dump sites at Watchman and South campgrounds without staying overnight.

Zion is also contemplating shifting its Wilderness Recreation Permit system to Recreation.gov, which would oversee all necessary seasonal lotteries, advance day use, and other permits, including overnight camping at wilderness sites. 

The proposed changes would see both walk-up permits and advanced reservations priced at $20, a significant increase from the current $0 to $5 range. Group sites would be charged $7 per person per night, replacing the current system that varies between $15 to $25 based on group size.

If these proposals gain approval, the new fees would be implemented at the beginning of 2024. The revenue generated from these fees plays a crucial role in park maintenance. 

For instance, Bryce Canyon allocates 80% of its fee revenues to projects like trail rehabilitation, campground picnic table replacements, and shuttle system operations. Zion officials have highlighted the increased demand for facility maintenance services due to rising visitation numbers.

Zion National Park’s superintendent, Jeff Bradybaugh, emphasized the importance of fee revenues, stating, “These funds help us maintain essential facilities like restrooms and drinking water systems, rehabilitate campsites, and ensure rangers are available to patrol trails, canyoneering routes, and other wilderness areas.”

Private campgrounds in proximity to these national parks might view the proposed fee hikes as a business opportunity. By offering competitive rates and quality facilities, they could attract visitors looking for more affordable camping options.

The proposed changes, if approved, are set to be implemented at the beginning of 2024. Both parks have also proposed fee changes for specific outdoor recreation permits, which will further impact the camping experience and associated costs for visitors.

For those interested in more information or providing feedback, comments on Bryce Canyon’s proposal can be submitted here and Zion’s proposal here.

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Olive Grove
Olive Grove
February 25, 2024 8:52 am

Isn’t it great to see parks like Bryce Canyon and Zion managing rising popularity? Understanding and backing fee adjustments is vital for preserving these treasures sustainably. Supporting such initiatives keeps these natural wonders enjoyable for future generations.

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Big Fee Changes Proposed for Bryce Canyon and Zion Campgrounds! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/utah/big-fee-changes-proposed-for-bryce-canyon-and-zion-campgrounds/