Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission approves license, camping, park fee changes

These approved fee increases will take effect on Jan. 1, 2019.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife Logo

Rebecca Ferrell, CPW Statewide

BURLINGTON, Colo. – The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission voted Thursday to approve increases to hunting and fishing licenses, camping and daily and annual park pass fees. The changes to these fees are a result of the passage of Senate Bill 18-143 this spring. These approved fee increases will take effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

Senate Bill 18-143, known as the “Hunting, Fishing, and Parks for Future Generations Act,” was signed into law in May of this year. The bill gives the CPW Commission authority to review and approve fee changes for licenses and park fees within limits set forth in the bill. Fee increases have been approved in each of the following categories.

Wildlife License Changes

With a few exceptions, resident license fees will increase by $8.

The commission also approved new licenses or license fees as follows:

  • A qualifying hunting license purchase for the current year must be made in order to apply for any big game license. A qualifying license includes: 1) an annual resident or nonresident small game hunting license; 2) an annual resident or nonresident spring turkey license; or 3) resident small game/fishing combination license (only available to residents).
  • Preference points fees will be charged for sheep, moose and goat applicants in 2019. Preference point fees for each of these species will be $50 for residents and $100 for nonresidents.
  • The application fee for the limited license drawing will increase to $7 for residents and $9 for nonresidents.
  • A new resident fishing license for youth ages 16 & 17 was created and will be priced at $8 (instead of full price).
  • Resident senior annual fishing licenses (ages 65+) will cost $8 (instead of free).
    • This allows the agency to collect federal matching funds
  • The wildlife education fee, assessed on most wildlife licenses, will increase from $0.75 to $1.50.
  • The Colorado State Waterfowl Stamp fee will increase to $10.
Nonresident license fees will not be increased in 2019. Resident and nonresident license fees will be reviewed and considered for adjustment based on annual Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Consumer Price Index changes beginning in 2020. 

Nonresident bear licenses for all seasons will be reduced to $100. 

Parks Passes Changes

Fee increases for daily and annual parks passes are noted below:

  • The price of an annual pass will increase to $80 for a standard annual affixed vehicle pass, $40 for a multiple annual affixed vehicle pass, and $70 for an aspen leaf annual pass.
  • The price of daily vehicle passes will increase by $1, increasing to $8 for most parks and to $9 for Cherry Creek, Chatfield, Boyd Lake and Eldorado Canyon state parks.
  • The price of an individual daily pass (for access outside of a motor vehicle) will also increase to $4.
    • This fee now applies for any person entering Barr Lake, Crawford, Colorado State Forest, Eldorado Canyon, Elkhead Reservoir, Harvey Gap, Highline Lake, James M. Robb – Colorado River, Lory, Pearl Lake, Rifle Gap, Rifle Falls, Stagecoach, Steamboat Lake, Sweitzer Lake, Sylvan Lake, Trinidad Lake, Vega and Yampa River State Parks
  • The Commission also established a pilot program for a new hangtag pass that does not need to be affixed to a vehicle windshield, which has been frequently requested by park visitors. It will be priced at $120.
    • The annual hangtag pass is issued to an individual, not a vehicle. Only one vehicle at a time can use an annual hangtag pass, as the hangtag pass owner must be in the vehicle using the pass. Only one lost or stolen replacement hangtag pass will be offered annually for $60, or 50% of the full pass price.
  • The price of daily dog off-leash passes will increase to $3 and the price of annual dog off-leash passess will increase to $25.
Camping/Facilities Permit Changes

The Commission has also opted to implement camping fee changes for the first time since 2015. The Commission has approved eliminating the $10 reservation fee previously charged for camping permits, instead increasing campsite base pricing statewide.

  • Fees for camping permits will increase between $8 to $13, depending on the type of campground site.
  • The fees for cabins and yurts will increase by $10.
  • Park managers have the ability to discount camping permit fees annually; modifications must be made by March 1 for the following reservation year.
    • It is important for camping customers to check individual park pages to learn fees for each specific park and site.  
  • The price of group picnic areas will increase between $20 to $60 depending on the park and the type of group picnic area.
    • Park Managers have the ability to discount facilities fees annually; modifications must be made by March 1 for the following reservation year.
  • The group facility reservation fee will remain at $10/facility.
As outlined in the Future Generations Act, CPW is committed to working toward 10 key goals by 2025. The agency is responsible for reporting the impact of fee increases and expenditures in meeting those goals to the legislature annually. A list of all 10 goals and a full listing of all approved fee changes is available at

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  1. Im ok with an increase on fees .but why charge seniors? They dont have the money.and nonresident tags stay the same? Make your increase across the board. Why not a bicycle fee ? They ride all over state land that i pay for with my increased fees .how about making it fair.

  2. I live in Minnesota…why the hell do I need purchase a fishing license and a small game license? When I just want to elk hunt.

  3. agree with Conan a honest raise in fees would have been better. As a landowner,I worry about hunters that will want to use that license they were forced to buy. I can “hug a hunter”, but deer season on working ranch is enough!

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