Proposed Entrance Fee Increase
Colorado National Monument is proposing to slightly raise its entrance fee of $7 per car and $4 per person (hiker/bicyclist) to $10 per car and $5 per person (hiker/bicyclist). The Monument is proposing to raise the current annual pass of $20 to $25. The annual pass is valid for one year from date of purchase.
Entrance fees at Colorado National Monument are among the lowest in the country and have not been raised in five years. The proposed fee increases will not change the commercial sedan, van, or bus tour rates, which vary between $25 for the sedans, $40 for the vans and small buses seating fewer than 26 people, and $100 for buses seating 26 or more people.
The park’s campground, Saddlehorn Campground, currently charges just $10 per night for a campsite. This campground includes upgraded restrooms with running water and flush toilets, trailer and tent pads, grills for cooking, and a volunteer campground host to assist campers. The Saddlehorn Campground is the lowest priced campground in this region and adversely impacts commercial campgrounds by charging such a low fee. The proposal includes raising the campsite fee to $20 per night. The campground fee has not been increased in 15 years.
Colorado National Monument is located in fast growing Mesa County on the Western Slope of Colorado. The Monument receives more than 715,000 visitors annually, which is some of the highest visitation of any of the national parks in the vicinity, with only Arches National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area receiving more visitors.
The entrance fees and campground fees are used by Colorado National Monument to make improvements to the park’s visitor facilities and park trails as well as staff the park’s entrance stations. In recent years, fee money has paid for the design of new visitor exhibits for the park’s visitor center, new restrooms in the campground, new wayside exhibits along Rim Rock Drive, hazardous material removal from public facilities, and monetary contributions to the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center.
The authority to collect fees in national parks falls under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, which was enacted by Congress as part of the 2005 Omnibus Appropriation Bill and signed into law by President Bush on December 8, 2004. The act allows the NPS and other federal land agencies the ability to provide better facilities and services to visitors, employ greater use of technology, and enter fee management agreements with counties and other entities to provide additional services to visitors.
Colorado National Monument invites the public to offer their feedback on this proposal through June 30, by going to the park’s website www.nps.gov/colm and clicking the Contact Us button (located in the left hand navigation) to provide online feedback. For those who prefer to send letters, mail them to Colorado National Monument, Fruita CO 81521.
Did You Know?
Each Independence Day, local climbers scale the iconic Independence Monument in Colorado National Monument and raise an American flag on top. This tradition dates back to early park promoter John Otto, whose route up Independence Monument climbers still follow.