When was the last time you went camping and had the entire campground to yourself? How about the last time you could comfortably head out into the woods knowing you would have no problem finding a vacant campsite? It has probably been awhile given the recent surge in outdoor recreation and camping. Camping at popular destinations has become more like the hotel industry where reservations are mandatory unless you want to find yourself camping off the side of a road.
So given the increase in camping’s popularity, it is no surprise that the Forest Service is considering a plan to increase overnight fees in the Siuslaw National Forest. While this fee increase is currently only being considered in the Siuslaw National Forest you can almost guarantee this is something we will start to see throughout the Pacific Northwest. After all, it is basic supply and demand economics.
How much will camping fees go up? It depends entirely on the campground however you can expect to see fees rise as little as $2 more per night to as much as $10 more per night. For those of us in the Portland area, though, high camping fees is no stranger. Want to spend three nights at Lost Lake Campground on Mt. Hood? Great! Get your check book out and be ready to fork over more than $100 for the three nights as the average campsite fee is $32/night plus online booking fees.
What does this mean for the future of camping? It just means that like most everything else in the Pacific Northwest, prices are going up.
Here is a table outlining the proposed campground fee increases:
You can read more about the proposed increases here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/siuslaw/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD506139