Fees for the use of some developed recreation areas in Los Padres National Forest will increase Jan. 1, a US Forest Service spokesman said.
The increases affect 33 campgrounds and a day camp operated by a concessionaire under a special use permit approved by the Granger-Thye Act, Los Padres public information officer Andrew Madsen said.
Madsen said fees charged at campgrounds and day sites have remained unchanged since 2016, when Los Padres approved the concession permit, but the increases are needed to offset operating costs that have escalated over the past six years, including inflation-related price spikes and fuel costs and minimum wage increases.
He said the additional fees collected would fund improvements to the facilities, ongoing maintenance of the sites at the high levels expected by the public, and annual operational needs.
Individual campground fees will increase by $10 per May, and group campground rates will increase by between $25 and $50 per night depending on site capacity, Madsen said.
The only day use fee that will increase is the Pfeiffer Beach Day Use Area admission fee in the Monterey Ranger District, which will increase from $12 to $15. Fees at Los Padres’ other 15 day-use locations remain at $10 per day, Madsen said.
Reservations on weekends and holidays may be charged an additional $2 per night if the two-day weekend or three-day holiday weekend minimum reservation rules apply at the time of booking.
Applicable holidays vary by location but may include New Years Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day and Christmas Day.
Reservation fees already paid on or before December 31 will be honored until the fee increases go into effect on January 1, Madsen said.
While fees are increasing at developed campgrounds, Madsen pointed out that there are more than 50 vacant campgrounds in Los Padres National Forest that are free to use.
Additional campgrounds are available at paid Adventure Pass locations for $5 per day or $30 per year, he said.
For more information on night and day use in Los Padres National Forest, visit www.usda.gov/lpnf.