Wyoming state park fees increased starting January 1st--preference given in booking to Wyomingites

Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 11:35 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -

Wyoming State Parks proposed fee increases last year to offset budget cuts. They were approved and came into effect on January 1st. Jamie Simonson, superintendent at Sinks Canyon State Park noted how it was important in state decision making to consider locals, first. “We’re a Wyoming state park, so we want to cater to our residents that live here in our state, so we want to make sure that our fees are lower for them, and that they can have that extra opportunity to make sure that they can enjoy their state parks,” stated Simonson.

And although fees have increased, they’re still less for state residents, and they’re also given preference when booking their reservations, being allowed to solely make reservations the 1st through the 7th of each month.

“This year we’re offering residents a 7 day early window, from the 1st to the 7th, they’ll be able to get in and get their reservations where non-residents will have to wait,” added Simonson.

Walk-in camping is October 1st-April-30th and reservation camping spots are from May 1st to September 30th, except for a couple walk on sites, depending on the state park. “A couple sites open in Sinks Canyon for first come, first serve, and I know they’re doing that around the state depending on how big the campground is, will depend on how many of the walk-ins they have,” said Simonson. At Sinks Canyon State Park, only two of the sites will remain walk-in only.

The reservation system is called reserveamerica.com and although Wyomingites get to book solely the 1st through the 7th of each month, a non-resident may have booked your desired site on a desired day on the previous month, so it’s important to think ahead. There is a $4 booking fee for residents, and $8 fee for out of state residents when using the reservation site.

“Unfortunately it’s the way it is, but I think it’s still a great bargain,” added Simonson. He noted that the new fees are still less per night for Wyomingites than when staying in a national park, as the nightly fee in national parks is $15.

Wyoming state residents overnight camping fee is set at $10 a night, plus the $7 day pass to enter most parks, up $1-$3 from last year, depending on the season. Although the state parks had increased visitation, it wasn’t enough to account for the budget cuts.

“I’m telling you, the state has seen a tremendous increase in visitation. All state parks are seeing way more visitors, so get online, get your reservations, and come out and enjoy our beautiful state parks.” An early bird sale on annual daily use permits is going on now until February 15th.

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