Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day use fees on the rise

When I was up on Mount Tam this week for a hike I noticed a sign announcing forthcoming fee areas. Both Rock Spring and Mountain Home trailheads will have day use fees in the future. The sign didn't say how much or when the fees would start. The current Tam day use fee is $8. I wonder if CSP will eliminate the tiny free parking pullout on Pantoll just off Panoramic? When the new fees are implemented would that be the only free legal parking in the upper reaches of the mountain? Can you park on West Ridgecrest?

Other state parks in the bay area have increased day use fees to $10. Read about the new fees here. California State Parks advocacy groups are proposing a vehicle fee to help fund our beleaguered parks -- not sure how that will go over with the general public in this wretched economy.

Since I live in San Francisco, I'll be heading south to the Santa Cruz Mountains for hikes more often -- no bridge toll and loads of free day use at the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space Preserves. Some of my favorites are Purisima Creek, Monte Bello, Skyline Ridge, and Russian Ridge. But I have to get my Tam fixes every couple of months, so I'll be back, I'll just have to remember to keep my wallet full.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back, Jane!

Yikes! It's now $10 to park at Half Moon Bay State Beach; $35 to camp (and $50 for beachfront sites). Thanks, Arnold!

I'm no great fan of park fees, particularly exhorbitant ones. However it has been remarkably easy to park at Pantoll (compared to ever finding a weekend parking spot at Mountain Home); Rock Springs has enough elbow room to take up the overflow from us Pantoll fee evaders (not to mention it's a cool trailhead in its own right); you can see from the agency standpoint, the imbalance of fees/no fees for these two popular, close-by trailheads is worth taking a look at.

I'm also one of the old-fashioned people who pays the parking fee at China Camp.

As often as I go hiking, fees add up. I'll also be hiking a little on Tam, a fair amount other places.

Ben Pease

Kristen @ said...

Hi Jane,

Just wanted to alert you and your readers to a couple of upcoming Hike-specific Team In Training information meetings for the Spring 2010 season. Both will be held on Wednesday, January 20th at 6:30 p.m.

145 General Stilwell Dr.
Marina, CA

Sports Basement
1177 Kern Ave.
Sunnyvale, CA

Details are available on the LLS' Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Area chapter TNT website at

It's a great way to train for an endurance hike at the Grand Canyon or Yosemite while helping a worthy cause. Hope to see you there!

~ Kristen