Skip to content


Outdoors |
Camping will cost 25% more at one Colorado national park in 2024

Boating fees will also rise at Black Canyon National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area

A tent sits on a campground near a lake
Eric Phillips, Special to the Denver Post
At 7,540 feet, Elk Creek Campground offers birds-eye views of the rolling sagebrush-speckled slopes juxtaposed with the gleaming cobalt face of Blue Mesa. Beyond Elk Creek, another nine drive-up campgrounds decorate Curecanti with a total of 385 sites — many of which are reservable online. (Eric Phillips, Special to the Denver Post)
The Know is The Denver Post's new entertainment site.

Federal officials said last week that camping and boating fees will rise in two popular Colorado parks: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area.

“Campground fees have remained unchanged since before 2016, while boat launch fees have not changed since at least 2003,” according to a statement from the National Park Service. Fee  money is used to pay for new projects and ongoing maintenance of park facilities; recent projects included trail rehabilitation, marina improvements and an amphitheater upgrade.

“The new pricing structure will bring the parks into closer alignment with nearby and comparable campground and boating services. The increased fees will provide additional revenue to fund operations and deferred maintenance projects,” the agency added.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2024, it will cost $20 per night to stay at the North Rim Campground and in loops A and C in the South Rim Campground at Black Canyon. That is a 25% increase over the previous $16 fee. Loop B, which includes electrical hookups will go from $22 to $34.

Camping in the Stevens Creek, Ponderosa, Dry Gulch, Red Creek and East Portal campgrounds at Curecanti will rise from $16 per night to $20, while camping at Elk Creek, Lake Fork and Cimarron will go from $16 to $24. Electrical sites at Elk Creek will rise from $22 to $34.

As for boating, the permitting system has been streamlined. Seasonal permits are up by $10 to a total of $40, while 7-day passes are $20. (There are no longer 2-day or 14-day permits.)

In 2022, visitors spent $70.2 million in the areas around Black Canyon and Curecanti, the park service said. “These expenditures supported a total of 799 jobs and $85.9 million in economic output in local gateway economies surrounding” the two natural areas.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Adventurist, to get outdoors news sent straight to your inbox.