Lake Mead National Recreation Area will increase entrance, vessel and camping fees to the park Jan. 1, 2016. The increase is part of a larger National Park Service initiative to standardize fees in similar parks across the country.
As a national recreation area, Lake Mead NRA has been designated as a Group 2 park. The park sought public comment in February proposing to change fees to meet that group’s rate. Less than one percent of the estimated people reached opposed the change.
The table below illustrates the new rates that take effect Jan. 1, 2016. The current fee rates have been in place since 2011.
Daily Vehicle $ 10.00 1-7 Days $ 20.00 1-7 Days
Daily Vessel $ 16.00 1-7 Days $ 16.00 1-7 Days
Daily Individual $5.00 1-7 Days $ 10.00 1-7 Days
Daily Motorcycle $ 10.00 1-7 Days $ 15.00 1-7 Days
Annual Vehicle $ 30.00 Calendar Year $ 40.00 12 Months
Annual Vessel $ 30.00 Calendar Year $ 50.00 Calendar Year
Camping $ 10.00 1 Night $ 20.00 1 Night
Group Camping $ 30.00 1 Night $ 60.00* 1 Night
*Group camping rates will increase to $80 in 2017
One major change to the fee program is that visitors will now get a full 12 months of access with their annual vehicle passes. With the current program, passes expired in December, no matter what time of year they were purchased. Additionally, the annual vehicle passes will change from window decals to cards, so visitors won’t have to purchase a decal for each vehicle.
Eighty percent of fee revenue collected at Lake Mead NRA funds park projects that directly benefit visitors. The other 20 percent is used servicewide to fund visitor enhancement programs at parks that don’t collect fees, like Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument.
Since 2000, fee dollars have funded launch ramp extensions, the construction of Princess Cove Road in the Katherine Landing area of Lake Mohave, the construction of park entrance and visitor information stations, additional crews to remove litter, floating bathrooms/pump-out stations, and navigation buoys and lights.
Based on Bureau of Reclamation lake level projections for Lake Mead, park officials estimate that it will cost $2-3 million over the next couple of years to extend launch ramps, relocate portable restrooms and grade beaches and dirt roads necessary for lake access. This fee change will allow the park to maintain access to one of the nation’s most popular water recreation destinations.
Future fee revenue will also be used to support projects that have a direct visitor benefit and improve the visitors’ experience, such as repair and maintenance of facilities and campgrounds, capital improvements, enhanced amenities, resource protection and additional visitor programs and services.
Entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years of age or holders of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Senior, Access or Military Passes.
• The America the Beautiful Pass, which is $80 per year, grants visitors access to more than 2,000 recreation areas managed by five federal agencies, including Lake Mead NRA and Red Rock Canyon.
• The Senior Pass is available to U.S. Citizens or permanent residents age 62 and over. It is a lifetime pass with a one-time charge of $10.
• The U.S. Military Pass is a free annual pass available to current active U.S. military members and their dependents.
• The Access Pass is a free lifetime pass available for U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities.
• People who volunteer 250 service hours with federal agencies may receive a free annual volunteer pass.
• The Every Kid in a Park Fourth Grade Pass is free for U.S. fourth grade students and has the same benefits as the Interagency Annual Pass. Fourth grade students must present a valid voucher printed from the www.everykidinapark.gov website to be exchanged for the pass.
The park service continues to offer entrance fee-free days each year. In 2015, there were nine entrance fee-free days. The next fee-free day is Nov. 11.