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.