Rocky Mountain National Park hikes backcountry fees | SkyHiNews.com

Rocky Mountain National Park hikes backcountry fees

Sky-Hi News staff

Sky-Hi News file photo

Effective for the 2015 summer season, the cost of obtaining a permit for backcountry camping in Rocky Mountain National Park will increase from $20 to $26 per trip.

This administrative permit fee, established in 1995 and last increased to $20 in 2004, is necessary to recover the administrative costs associated with managing the program, including costs of a computerized permit and reservation system, according to Park personnel.

Permits for backcountry camping help ration and distribute use throughout the park's backcountry and are intended to minimize impacts to resources, help provide a quality experience, and ensure that sites are available for those able to plan ahead and reserve a permit in advance, according to a prepared statement released by the Park.

While an overnight permit is required for backcountry camping year-round, the fee for obtaining the permit only applies for camping that occurs during the months of May through October when demand typically exceeds availability in many areas of the park's backcountry.

The $6 increase for the non-refundable permit becomes effective March 1 for anyone making advance reservations or after May 1 for those obtaining a permit over the counter at one of the park's Backcountry Offices.

The backcountry permit is based on cost recovery and all funds are applied directly to the costs of administering the program, according to the Park.

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In October, the park proposed a change in its recreational use fees for entrance and developed campgrounds. That proposal is still under review. A decision about those recreationl use fees is expected late winter or early spring, according to teh Park's statement.

"Rocky Mountain National Park retains one hundred percent of the administrative fees charged for backcountry camping permits," said Superintendent Vaughn Baker. "In addition to providing the opportunity to reserve and secure campsites in advance, funds recovered through the permit fee allow for staff to provide trip planning advice and information for a safe and enjoyable trip into the wilderness. … Fees that we charge enable us to provide these services."

For further information call the Park's Information Office at 970-586-1206.

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