Current Fee Proposals, White River National Forest

Snow reflecting the light in the early morning near Aspen

Proposed Fee Increase at Vail Pass

The White River National Forest is proposing to increase fees at Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area to continue to sustain the current services and provide enhanced services to the area in the future. Steady growth in visitation, rising costs for staffing and services and inflation has prompted the Forest Service to propose a fee increase to continue to sustain this unique recreation opportunity. 

Fee Increase Proposal: Increase the current $6/day pass to $10/day, and the $40/season pass to $65/season.

Why is a fee increase needed?

Snowmobile riders stopped and chatting in the early morning.The Forest Service works in partnership with the Vail Pass Task Force to groom, plow, patrol and maintain this unique recreation opportunity every season, but expenditures have surpassed revenue. Fees at the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area have remained the same since 2005 and the program has operated at a deficit for the past two years.

Cars parked along a snow embankment at Vail PassGrooming costs have increased by over $35,000 annually in the past 3 winter seasons and visitor use has nearly doubled in the last 15 years. This documented growth in visitation has created a need to provide increased visitor services including more frequent plowing and grooming, and enhanced ranger presence. There is also a need to provide additional informational and wayfinding materials such as maps, signs, route indicators and day passes. Next year, the deficit is projected to be over $60,000. Without a fee increase, existing services will continue to decline due to rising costs and inflation.

Current Fees at Vail Pass Pay For:

  • Machine to groom the ski slopes under snow.Distribution of over 4,000 maps & signage is that is maintained throughout the winter.
  • Plowing and management of five parking areas.
  • Grooming & maintenance of 50 miles of groomed motorized/mixed- use trails, 17 miles of un-groomed motorized/mixed use trails, and 52 miles of non-motorized trails. 
  • Rangers to provide information services; pass sales; monitoring and enforcement of travel zones; parking lot management; kiosk, facility, and sign maintenance.

A fee increase would continue to provide the current services listed above, and would also allow the Forest Service and its partners to provide additional services including improved parking lot plowing, more frequent grooming, cost effective automated fee stations, and staffing for the area 7 days a week.

Need more information? Donwload these docuements: 

Tell Us What You Think!

The sun rises on the slopes as a grooming machine smooths the slopes.Submit comments electronically: COMMENT HERE

Mail-In Comments Can be Sent To:

Dillon Ranger District
Vail Pass Fee Increase Proposal
P.O. Box 620, Silverthorne, CO 80498-0620

Comment cards are available at Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area Fee station locations. Written comments may be submitted at any fee station location.  View comments received.