Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks may boost campground fees

Two of the “Mighty Five” national parks, Zion and Bryce Canyon, may see fee increases that could affect RVers. Campground fees at both would be raised, and a new fee structure could be implemented at dump stations in Zion. What are the potential changes, and how can you make your feelings known about them? Read on.

Bryce Canyon: Campground fees not jumping for everyone

campground fees
North Campground. NPS photo.

While the proposed changes at Bryce Canyon won’t directly affect RVers’ campground fees, they could make it easier to get access. Under the system as it is now, Bryce’s Sunset Campground offers sites to both RVers and tenters, but only on a first-come, first-served basis, from May through October. Some visitors have been sorely disappointed on driving into Sunset to find “no room at the inn.”

If changes are approved, then Sunset’s campground loops would move to a reservation system through recreation.gov. North Campground is already a reservation campground during the main travel season, and first-come, first-served the rest of the year. That would remain the same.

What about campground fees? In both Sunset and North campgrounds, tenters are paying $20, and RVers $30 per night. There are no hookups of any sort, but dump station rights are included in the campground fee. Bryce Canyon managers are looking to make things even all-around, upping campground fees for tenters to $30. RVers would see no change.

Zion: RVers’ wallets see variable hit

While Bryce Canyon’s changes are fairly straightforward, and have no effect on RVers’ wallets, it’s not the same down in Zion National Park. Here campground fees would definitely increase, anywhere between $5 and $15 per night. Here’s a chart that shows the proposed fee hikes. campground feesAdditionally, RVers who happen to be “passing through” and not spending a night in any of the campgrounds would be charged a $5 fee to dump tanks. That fee is covered in campground fees, so dumping would be free for campers. At Zion, campground fees haven’t changed since 2015. If the plan is approved, the new fees could be in place as early as next January. Do you have an America the Beautiful Senior or Access (for the disabled) pass? Then you’ll still see half-off the normal campground fees.

Put in your two cents’ worth on fee increases at Zion and Bryce

What’s your thinking on these proposed changes? The Park Service would like to know, and a public comment period is open through August 31, 2023.

To make comments regarding Bryce Canyon, follow this link or write:

Bryce Canyon National Park
PO Box 640201
Bryce, UT 84764

To comment on Zion’s proposal, use this link or write:

ZION Superintendent
ATTN: Frontcountry Camping and Wilderness Recreation Permit Fee Changes
1 Zion Park Blvd, State Route 9
Springdale, UT 84767


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.


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1 month ago

I have no problem with the increase of fees, as long as the fees stay related to that park. That means paying for park maintenance, any facility improvements, and the park’s employees.

1 month ago

my input was I agreed with the fee increases.

Thomas D
1 month ago

People don’t realize that it costs money to provide power. It includes the wire coming. Into the area, trenching into the ground, meter sockets, circuit breaker panels and outlets. It take power to use a transformer even if nothing is being used. Meter sockets are impossible to get since covid. I pay $67 a month for the privilege of having power available. Plus any I use. If you can’t afford to pay an extra $5, maybe it’s time to look for a new sport.

Neal Davis
1 month ago

There are at least two reasons for fee increases; higher costs/lower revenue or rationing. In both cases, higher fees can be expected. Higher costs may be driven by utility increases or higher wages in order to attract employees. Lower revenue can be due to reductions in federal funds. Rationing probably sounds nefarious, but a commonly discussed problem in RV Travel columns is reserved campsites that go unused. The implication is that current fees are too low. Campgrounds and campsites are far from cost-free to those providing them, so it is no surprise that higher costs and shortages since the pandemic have also affected national parks. More power to them.

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago

$5 to dump is a bargain in today’s RV camping world.

Bob M
1 month ago

I’m not sure how Federal parks pay for utilities, but if they have a increase in utility fees and necessities I can understand the proposed price increase. My electric for the lot I own has went up drastically and I only camp at it a couple times a month. The sad thing is everyone is price gouging and the present administration is doing nothing about it. At least President Regan implied a price freeze. Products aren’t going up a few cents, but like 50 cents plus.

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