Recreation fees for Vail Pass backcountry use start Dec. 14 |

Recreation fees for Vail Pass backcountry use start Dec. 14

VAIL PASS – The U.S. Forest Service will begin collecting fees Saturday, Dec. 14, at trailheads leading into the popular Vail Pass recreation area. The fee this year is $5 per person per day.

Previously, the fee was $2 per person Monday through Thursday and $5 Friday through Sunday.

“Due to increased recreation use during the week, we found we needed to collect fees to provide the same service to people visiting the forest Monday through Thursday as we have been during the weekend,” said Holy Cross District Ranger Cal Wettstein.

He said grooming would continue to be improved.

The $5 pass is for a 24-hour timeframe, beginning at the time of purchase. Season passes are $35 and are available at the Vail Pass trailhead and the Dillon and Holy Cross ranger districts.

Fees provide maps, groomed trails, signs, marking and maintenance of routes, enforcement, parking management, trailhead hosts and visitor information, according to the Forest Service.

The Vail Pass area extends over about 50,000 acres from Copper Mountain to the east, Vail to the west, Camp Hale to the south and Interstate 70 to the north.

Trailheads are located at the Vail Pass rest area, Red Cliff and at three Camp Hale locations.

The Vail Pass trailhead is manned several days a week, but on other days and at all other locations, a self-service fee collection site is provided.

The Vail Pass Recreation Fee Demonstration Program began in 1998. The program is a result of more than 10 years of working with recreation users to provide effective area management.

For more information, contact the Dillon Ranger District at (970) 468-5400 or Holy Cross Ranger District at (970) 827-5715.

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