Fees increase to visit, camp in some Idaho state parks for out-of-state visitors

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**ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND JULY 17-18** Dennis Rogers, of Corona Calif., fishes off a dock at Ponderosa Park on Tuesday, July 7, 2004. in McCall. Idaho. while vacationing with his family. Idaho’s most popular state park is keeping the summer vacation land accessible to just about everyone. Cort Conley’s staple Idaho guidebook, Idaho for the Curious, rates McCall as the third most popular destination in the state, behind Sun Valley and Coeur d’Alene(AP Photo/Matt Cilley)

IDAHO (ABC4) – Heading to Idaho to visit a state park? You may pay twice as much as before if you aren’t a state resident.

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To comply with a new state law, the Idaho State Parks have announced camping and entry fees for non-Idaho residents will double at select parks starting Thursday, June 10.

The daily, non-resident entry fee at Bear Lake, Farragut, Hells Gate, Priest Lake, and Round Lake will increase to $14. At all other state parks, Idaho residents and out-of-state guests will pay the same $7 fee to get in.

If you plan to camp at Farragut, Henrys Lake, Ponderosa, Priest Lake, and Round Lake, fees will be double what Idahoans pay. For example, a basic campsite at one of these parks will cost $48 a night, while a site with full hookups will cost $64 for non-Idaho residents – in both cases, double the $24 and $32, respectively, Idahoans pay.

“The changes will keep Idaho competitive with surrounding states, which have similar surcharges for out-of-state guests,” says Susan Buxton, director of the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. “Even with these increases, our parks are a good value given the exceptional recreational opportunities at our parks.”

Higher non-resident fees are common at state parks. For example, Utah residents are charged $15 per vehicle to visit Sand Hollow State Park while non-residents are charged $20 for day use.

In 2020, Idaho State Parks set a visitation record with nearly 7.7 million people visiting for day use or camping. That’s a surge of 1.2 million over the previous high number. Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation report about 30% of visitors were from out of state.

Also on Thursday, the annual Motor Vehicle Entry Fee will rise to $80 for all users, providing unlimited daily entry to parks for the year. Idaho residents are advised to get the $10 State Park Passport, which provides unlimited entry into parks for a year. The Passport is available at your local department of motor vehicles when Idahoans register their motor vehicles.

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