Colorado Parks and Wildlife modifies fees, offers new annual pass option for state park visitors

2019 brings new fees, new park pass options for Colorado's 41 state parks.
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Denver — Colorado Parks and Wildlife will modify its state parks entrance fees beginning Jan. 1, 2019 as a result of the passage of Senate Bill 18-143 in May. This is the first increase to park entry fees since 2010. Based on visitor feedback, CPW will also begin offering a hangtag park pass option that will be tied to an individual instead of a vehicle, allowing an individual to use the hangtag when he or she is present in any vehicle of their choice.

The revised fee structure approved by the Parks and Wildlife Commission allows the agency to address increased operating costs, provide adequate staffing, and fulfill property maintenance needs to continue providing quality programs and services while managing an increasing number of park users. Ten key goals have been identified for the agency as a result of this increased funding.

 “The additional fees will serve to enhance all aspects of the visitor experience in Colorado’s 41 state parks,” said Margaret Taylor, CPW assistant director for capital, parks and trails. “We are committed to providing a fun, safe and rewarding experience for every visitor. Through funding larger capital projects to smaller on-the-ground programs, these dollars help us better serve both the public and our resources.”

 Effective Jan. 1, 2019, the park entrance fee schedule will adjust to the following:

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  • Daily Vehicle Pass $8 – $9

    • At Cherry Creek, Chatfield, and Boyd Lake State Recreation Areas, and Eldorado Canyon State Parks each daily vehicle pass is $9

  • Individual Daily Pass $4

    • Applies for any person entering Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area , Barr Lake, Crawford, Colorado State Forest State Park, 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, except those entering the park in a motor vehicle with a valid annual parks pass or state parks annual hang tag pass.

  • Annual Affixed Vehicle Pass $80

  • Annual Affixed Multiple Vehicle Pass $40 per vehicle

  • Annual Affixed Vehicle Replacement Pass $5

  • Aspen Leaf Annual Pass (ages 64+) $70

  • Aspen Leaf Annual Multiple Pass (ages 64+) $35 per vehicle

  • State Parks Annual Hang Tag Pass $120

    • State parks annual hang tag passes are issued to individuals, not vehicles. Only one vehicle at a time can use an annual hang tag pass.

  • State Parks Annual Hang Tag Replacement Pass $60

  • Dog Off-leash Daily Pass $3

  • Dog Off-leash Annual Pass $25

The price of the annual Columbine Annual Pass and Centennial Annual Pass will remain $14 per pass, and commercial daily pass costs also remain unchanged in 2019.

“We’re very happy that in 2019 we can address the request from our visitors for a hangtag pass. This is a great option for multi-car families or those who use different vehicles for different activities,” said Taylor. “We’ve also added 13 parks to our Individual Daily Pass, or ‘walk-in’ pass, program to help us engage more of our visitors into funding and conservation efforts.”

All annual passes, including the hangtag pass, will now include a separate product panel that qualifies as an individual daily pass for parks listed above. Park visitors purchasing the hangtag pass online or with external sales agents will receive their printed pass, and will be able to pick up the hangtag on their first visit to any state park.

“Individual daily passes are a great option for a visitor who may be entering one of our recreation sites without the use of a motorized vehicle,” explained Rob White, park manager at Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA). “For half the cost of a daily park pass for vehicles, people that bike, hike, horseback ride or boat into one of our sites can use our facilities, meet friends for a picnic, and enjoy the river and the spectacular scenery found within the AHRA. Annual pass holders will also benefit from the additional product panel now printed as part of their annual pass. This panel will serve as their individual daily pass allowing someone to quickly show proof of a required park pass when needed.”

State parks in Colorado have experienced record-breaking visitation, with nearly 15 million visitors last year. Since 2010, state parks have not received funding from state general tax dollars except occasional small amounts (less than one percent of the budget) for special projects, meaning CPW relies on park fees to make needed improvements, hire staff and begin planning for Colorado’s next state park.

For more information on planning your next visit to one of Colorado’s 41 state parks, visit cpw.state.co.us.

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