Gas prices spark rise in campground fees |

Gas prices spark rise in campground fees

Gregory Crofton

Fees are increasing at many private and state campgrounds around the Lake Tahoe Basin in part because of the high price of gasoline.

“The cost of running the parks is going up,” said Hayden Sohm, Sierra District superintendent for California State Parks. “You’ve probably seen the price of gas and propane. All those fixed costs are going up. The only way to keep parks open is to increase our fees, bottom line.”

California State Parks now cost $25 per night instead of $20 a night. The rate change took effect Jan.1.

Near the Lake Tahoe Basin in Alpine County, the campground at Indian Creek Reservoir has raised its rates due to increased maintenance costs and a decision to make the fees comparable to those charged at similar campgrounds.

When it opens May 19, the cost to rent a single RV/tent site for night will increase from $15 a night to $20 a night. And a double RV/tent site will be $32 a night when it was $15.

The campground is managed the Bureau of Land Management, a branch of the federal government. BLM Public Affairs Officer Mark Struble said Indian Creek is the only federal campground in the area that he knows of that is slated for a rate increase.

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Most of the increases, in the range of one to two dollars, are occurring at private campgrounds.

Jean Norman, an information assistant for the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, said no rate hikes will occur this season for the campgrounds it manages in the basin, such as the ones at Nevada Beach and Fallen Leaf Lake, which are tentatively set to open in mid-May.

Franklin Pemberton, information officer for the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, said he is not aware of any campground fee hikes that have changed for his forest.