Fish Creek fee goes up

Rate increases from $3 to $5


— Hikers, snowshoers or skiers will have to pay a higher fee to get into Fish Creek Falls.

The U.S. Forest Service announced this week that the recreation use fee at Fish Creek Falls has increased from $3 to $5 for a day pass and from $20 to $30 for a yearly pass.

The annual pass was $10 two years ago.

The passes are good for 28 other Forest Service recreation areas in Colorado, including Hahn's Peak Day-Use Area and Bear Lake Picnic Ground.

"It's the cost of maintenance," U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Diann Pipher said about the fee increase. "It just takes quite a bit of money to maintain parking lots, toilets and picnic grounds."

She said the increase brings Fish Creek falls up to what most other Forest Service recreation use area fees are in Colorado.

Fish Creek Falls has had significant upgrades in the last few years -- trails have been rebuilt, picnic shelters were added, the water system upgraded, a small amphitheater near the upper falls was constructed, roads have been paved, an information kiosk and fee collection station were built. The work was part of a project that started in 1994 to update the Forest Service recreation area. Money from the regional Forest Service office was set aside for specific recreation areas in Colorado. Local officials identified Fish Creek as a good place for the funds to be used, according to the Forest Service.

Fees collected at the site will go toward the upkeep of the new amenities and to maintain the restrooms, Pipher said. The new prices also will help offset the rising costs of maintaining health and safety standards and to continue winter to access ski and snowmobile trailheads.

Pipher said 95 cents on every dollar of all fees collected at Fish Creek Falls goes back into maintaining recreational opportunities on the forest, she said.

"Fish Creek Falls is near Steamboat Springs, so a lot of people go there. We certainly want it to be a well-maintained area," Pipher said.


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