U.S. Forest Service officials announced that fee increases at some developed recreation sites in Los Padres National Forest will take effect on Jan. 1, 2023.
The fee increases affect 33 campgrounds and one day-use site operated by a concessionaire special use permit under the Granger-Thye Act authority.
The fees charged at campgrounds and day-use sites have been unchanged since 2016 when the Forest authorized this concessionaire permit.
Beginning New Year's Day, individual campsite fees will increase by $10 per night and group campsites will increase between $25 and $50 per night depending on the site capacity.
The entrance fee for the Pfeiffer Beach Day Use Area in the Monterey Ranger District will rise from $12 to $15, however, fees at the other 15-day-use sites in Los Padres will remain at $10 per day.
An additional $2 per night increase for reservations on weekends and holiday periods was also authorized and may be applied whenever the ‘Two-day weekend minimum’ and/or ‘Three-day holiday weekend minimum’ reservation rules in the system are in effect at the time of booking for Friday and Saturday night stays. Applicable holidays vary by site.
U.S. Forest Service officials say the fee increase is necessary to offset rising operational costs that have escalated over the previous six years, including recent inflation-related price spikes, fuel costs, and the jump in California’s minimum wage from $10 an hour in 2016 to $15 an hour.
The state minimum wage is set to increase again on Jan. 1, 2023, to $15.50 an hour. U.S. Forest Service officials say the additional fees collected will provide for facility improvements, fund ongoing maintenance of these sites to the high level expected by the public and address annual operation and maintenance needs.
Reservation fees already paid on or before December 31, 2022, will be honored up until the fee increases go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.
There are more than 50 undeveloped campgrounds in the Padres National Forest that are free to public use as well as additional camping opportunities available at Adventure Pass fee sites for $5 a day or $30 annually. For more information on overnight and day-use recreation opportunities, please visit Los Padres National Forest’s website.