Bureau plans new camping, recreation fees at 16 campgrounds across Utah


A picnic table at a campsite within the Bureau of Land Management’s Price Field Office. The agency announced Friday it is adding new campground fees at 15 sites across the Price and Richfield offices beginning next year; a new campsite in the Salt Lake office will also open with fees. (Bureau of Land Management)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Federal land managers said Friday they are moving forward with plans to charge new user fees at 16 current or forthcoming campgrounds all over the state, which will be implemented at the start of next year.

Twelve of the selected current campgrounds are within the Bureau of Land Management’s Richfield Field Office, while another three are in its Price office based on various business plans originally published between 2019 and 2020.

  • Beas Lewis Flat (Richfield)
  • Buckhorn Wash (Price)
  • Cottonwood Canyon (Price)
  • Jurassic (Price)
  • Little Wild Horse (Price)
  • Millsite (Price)
  • New Joes (Price)
  • San Rafael Reef (Price)
  • Sand Wash (Price)
  • Saul’s Meadow (Richfield)
  • South Temple Wash (Price)
  • Summerville (Richfield)
  • Temple Mountain Townsite (Price)
  • The Wedge (Price)
  • The Wickiup (Price)

There currently aren’t any fees within those 15 sites. All of the Price Field Office sites will have a $20 per night camping fee or a $75 per night fee for group sites. The Richfield Field Office plan calls for a $15 per night camping fee at the Beas Lewis Flat and Summerville campgrounds, while the Saul’s Meadow campground will cost $10 per night once the plan goes into effect.

The final site is within the new Fivemile Pass Recreation Area in Utah and Tooele counties, which was designated last year. The Salt Lake Field Office is proposing a $10 per day fee, which would include overnight camping, or a $50 annual pass. The plan also calls for an $80 annual pass that also includes access to the Knolls Special Recreation Management Area in Tooele County.

The fees, according to the Bureau of Land Management, will help with maintenance at the select facilities. These are typically invested for things like fire rings, trails, picnic tables and restrooms, according to the agency

Agency officials contend they help “enhance the outdoor recreational experience,” and improve services, especially as interest in outdoor recreation expands in Utah.

“Recreating on America’s public lands is more popular than ever, as people seek to enjoy the great outdoors. These recreation fees will generate funding to improve access, refresh campground infrastructure and enhance the BLM’s ability to support local economies,” said Greg Sheehan, the director of the bureau’s Utah State Office.

The bureau’s resource advisory council recently reviewed public comments from when the plans were published and approved them for implementation beginning as early as Jan. 6, 2023. Officials made notice of the upcoming changes now because federal law requires that all new recreation fees are posted in the Federal Register at least six months before they are implemented.

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Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter who covers general news, outdoors, history and sports for KSL.com. He previously worked for the Deseret News. He is a Utah transplant by the way of Rochester, New York.

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