Coronado National Forest Fee Proposal

Recreation fees improves visitor experience

Recreation fees helps the forest provide high-quality recreation experiences. Up to 95% of the funds collected through recreation fees are reinvested in the facilities and services that visitors enjoy, use, and value.

Recreation fees are only collected at developed sites. This investment in outdoor recreation, supports and enhances:

Developed recreation area are sites which offer visitor convenience amenities like restroom, fires rings, interpretative experiences, and parking lots.

  • Public safety
  • Recreation site maintenance and improvements
  • Educational experiences
  • Informational wayside exhibits
  • Youth programs and partnerships
  • Interpretive programs

Fees at the Coronado National Forest were updated in 2020

After an extensive public outreach process the Coronado National Forest updated its fees in 2020 based on the amenities provided and on market prices for similar recreation experiences.

Public input was collected since 2016 when the public indicated that:

  • 85% support a fee increase to market levels
  • 11% support a reduction in facilities or amenities
  • 15% support the increased use of concessionaires

While fees where added or increase at some recreation areas, approximately 50% of developed recreation opportunities remain fee free and available for public enjoyment.

This chart reflects the current prices at recreation areas where fees are collected.

Type of Fee Current Price
Day Use $8 per day
Camping* $15 to $20 per night
Group Sites $50, plus $10 per vehicle
Coronado Annual Pass $40 per year
Coronado Weekly Pass $10 per week

Why does the Forest Service collect recreation fees?

The Forest Service collects fees to provide high-quality recreation opportunities to local communities and forest visitors. Fees help pay for:

  • Maintenance, restoration, and improvement of existing recreation areas, facilities, roads, and trials
  • Addition of new recreation areas, facilities, roads, and trials
  • Amenities and services important to forest visitors
  • To preserve capital investments
  • Resources conservation and protection
  • Promoting sustainable recreation

By the numbers

  • There are 204 developed recreation sites in the Coronado National Forest.
  • Revenue to manage developed recreation includes federal budget allocations and fees. Fees represent about 50% of the available budget for the developed recreation program.
  • The estimated cost to maintain, restore, and improve recreation sites at the forest is over $3 million.
  • In 2019, the forest collected approximately $910,000 in fees.
  • After fees were updated in 2020, the forest is expected to collect $1 to $1.3 million in fees annually.

The Cost of Developed Recreation

Identifying the costs associated with operating, maintaining, and replacing developed recreation facilities is important in understanding how appropriated funds and fee dollars are invested to support public recreation. These costs vary from site to site and we have provided five representative examples.