IDAHO (April 27, 2020) — Parks are a great place to visit during the COVID-19 crisis, but visitors are asked to pay their entrance fees to maintain these recreational resources.
While parks are seeing big increases in visitors this spring, a large majority are not paying the $5 entrance fee. Those with the Idaho Park Passport obviously pay in advance, but an estimated three out of four non-Passport visitors are paying nothing to get in.
This $5 fee helps support the parks, especially in times of financial upheaval such as the Great Recession or the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to keep ark staff and visitors safe, many parks have closed fee kiosk booths, but the entrance fee still applies. An honor-system relies on visitors without Passports to pay their fee at the tube near the entrance.
Idaho State Parks are 90 percent self-sufficient, meaning that only 10 percent of our funding comes from Idaho taxpayers. Between campground closures and switching to a new registration system, the department’s reliance on entrance fees has grown at a time that less people are contributing.
We cannot maintain the parks efficiently throughout the year with nearly 75 percent of daily visitors avoiding entrance fees. We ask that all park visitors come prepared with $5 cash to place in the fee-tube upon entering any Idaho State Park.
And as always, please practice safe social distancing while recreating