Colorado National Monument has received approval to implement proposed entrance fee increases beginning January 1, 2017. In order to lessen the impact of the fee increases, the park has chosen to phase some of the changes in over two years.
The monument received 62 responses during the open comment period for the proposed fee increases; slightly more than half were in favor of the changes. While supportive, many respondents were disappointed that proposed increases doubled and in one case tripled the fees. This led local management to a phased approach to the increases.
“We were encouraged by the thoughtful and well considered responses to the proposals,” said Superintendent Ken Mabery. “It is important that we balance the need for additional funding to support park visitors while ensuring that our site remains affordable and accessible to everyone.”
Federal law requires that recreational fees charged on public lands be used for direct visitor benefits. In recent years, projects funded by recreational fees have included paving Rim Rock Drive through the tunnels on the west hill, accessibility of the Alcove Nature Trail, and a new vault toilet facility at Upper Liberty Cap Trailhead. Current projects include trail work on Old Gordon Trail and a resource survey of the White Rocks Area.
The park plans to use the additional revenue from increased fees for upgrading campground restrooms, rehabilitating Liberty Cap Trail and replacing the outdated Visitor Center film as well as a number of smaller projects.
Entrances fees are not charged to persons under 16 years of age or to holders of Access, Military and 4th Grade passes. Prices for the Interagency Annual ($80) and Senior ($10) Passes will not change and those passes will still be available for purchase at the park. Camping fees were not changed and remain $20 per night. Commercial fees are set at a national level and were not changed. It is expected that the National Park Service will continue to offer fee free days periodically during 2017.
The following outlines the approved fee schedule for Colorado National Monument:
Current Fees / 2017 Fees / 2019 Fees
Private Vehicle: $10.00 / $15.00 / $20.00
Annual Park Pass: $25.00 / $40.00 / $40.00