Yellowstone Implementing Backcountry Fee

Applies to spring, summer camping

Feb 10, 2015
Outside Magazine
backcountry yellowstone national park

Frequent Yellowstone visitors can purchase a year-long backcountry pass for $25.    USFWS Mountain-Prairie/Flickr

Earlier this month, Yellowstone National Park announced that it would be introducing a backcountry fee for visitors looking to stay overnight. Anyone staying in the park’s backcountry between May 25 and September 10 will have to pay at least $3.

The $3 charge covers one person per night. According to the park’s statement, groups of five or more will pay a maximum fee of $15 total per night. A camper also has the option to buy an annual backcountry pass for $25. The cost of reserving a spot more than two nights in advance, which has been in place since 1996, will stay at $25.

The park said in its November proposal that revenue from overnight fees will cover 43 percent of the cost of running the park’s nine backcountry offices. The reservation fee alone covers only 17 percent of the operation costs. Yellowstone hopes to recover some of the cost of running the backcountry program. Funds can also be reallocated to other park operations as needed.

“As base budgets decline, this overnight backcountry permit fee will help ensure the park is able to maintain the current level of service into the future,” the proposal said.