NPS Proposed New Tiered Boating Fee Structure


Escalante-Class Member
I just thought folks might be interested in a new proposal from the NPS for a tiered boat fee increase: ParkPlanning - Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Tiered Boat Pass

The key takeaways...
  • Bigger boats cause greater cost concerns for NPS and use GCNRA resources more than smaller boats.
  • The existing cost structure only allows one fee, so a fishing boat buying an annual pass pays the same as an 110' Adonia.
  • The new fee structure will be based on length, with all boats 26' and below paying the same rate (bumped to $60/year) while bigger boats will pay up to $1600 for 101' and above.
  • Houseboats will all pay more (on top of the moorage fees already being paid by the houseboats), since they are bigger. The biggest anticipated fee jump will come from boats 61'-80', which provided $13,000 in park revenue in FY22, but are expected to provide $125,000 in revenue in the new schedule.
I overall think this is positive, IF the funds stay in GCNRA and are used for improvements to GCNRA facilities, resulting in an additional $350,000 annual revenue.
Whoa buddy....can't wait to hear the pushback on this one!
Not sure I follow the NPS' rationale on impact versus vessel size.
What they SHOULD be doing is charging by the person...OH WAIT!!!!...they already effectively do that via the entrance fees. Here's an adder...fuel surcharges are orders of magnitude greater (in absolute numbers) by folks who run houseboats, whether owned or rented. Hmmpphhh! I think there was a little fiasco in Boston Harbor a few years back with regard to taxation without representation...I digress, as maybe I dreamed it while sleeping through high-school history.
Would be nice if NPS would try thinking before acting. One more example of; "Fabricate a problem so I can get my buddy a job." syndrome. What's a feller to do?

By the way, noticed one of their top reasons was to pay for damage done by houseboat "pins". What on Earth?!?!? Why should the law-abiding folks pay restitution for the criminals. If NPS would actually patrol the lake a little (while they aren't plowing through the marinas) they might actually see that the majority, far-and-away, of backpinning is not done by houseboaters. It's done by the occassional recreationist that either doesn't know better or does not care. As Spock famously stated; "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." This equates, in my mind's eye, to: "Why should the few pay for the transgressions of the many?" If a buddy of mine gets some chick pregnant in the back of MY car am I supposed to pay the child support? Makes less than zero sense.

What next? A "Tiered Invasive Species Fee"? I mean, heck, while we're micro-managing things to the n'th degree might as well recognize boats that actually use the ramps more than once every 5 - 7 years (e.g., houseboat hauls for repair, bottom coat, etc.) pose the greatest threat to invasive species migration, right?

I think before NPS gets deeper into micro-managing they might want to step back and try simple managing at a higher level first. This proposal is INSANE by definition.
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A more equitable way to increase usage fees would be to actually man the entrance stations a little more frequently and verify that boats utilizing the lake are paying for the existing fee.
Yup, and stick a Ranger in Wahweap, Bullfrog, & Antelope Point with a radar gun in order to cite boaters exceeding 5 M.P.H. should draw in far more than $350K a year. Might actually require some work and planning (100 boaters/day x $100 ticket x 35 days = $350,000 AND actually accomplishes and courtesy).
Here's a thought: Less foreign aid? Keep our hard earned $$ our lake?

Apologies for being so radical......but wasn't too long ago there were NO fees at our lake....

You are right. Back in the 90's when fees started, everything changed for the worse.

Free trash bags at the ramps went away, potty patrol went away, NPS presence went away, and all other law enforcement presence went away. We've discussed this before on here, and it's not really a known fact on the actual numbers that end up BACK here, after going to Washington into the General Fund. It's infuriating, but whaddya gonna do? Pay :mad:
Their "proposed fee chart" is understated... they list 6 boats above 101+, I can think of 10 that are larger than 100' off of the top of my head. Not sure if they are underestimating on purpose?

I'm curious where this money would really go. What do the "concessionaires" pay for vs the NPS. I have heard that the NPS owns the docks, but does that mean that they actually purchase them?

Would we see an improvement in the fuel docks at the marina's, because the larger boats certainly use more resources there... I could argue that a wakesurfing boat that is launched and retrieved daily uses more of the GCNRA public resources than any houseboat on the lake does.

The larger boats are put in a slip and rarely are they pulled off the lake (using a ramp, decon centers). They fuel and pump out at the fuel docks owned by Aramark and Antelope Point. I guess I am having a hard time seeing what "infrastructure" will be repaired/improved that has been impacted by larger boats.
One thing that I find very interesting about this tiered increase is that it mainly affects the massive boats (80+ feet). I would assume that 90% of the boats this large are located at Antelope Point Marina. The purpose of this tiered increase is to generate revenue to help with infrastructure repair and improvements including replacement and repair of courtesy docks, support for additional launch ramps and or extensions, and utility impacts/improvements (water and wastewater systems).

From the information I have been receiving, Antelope Point has been doing all they can to acquire permits and personally fund additional houseboat docks and lengthen their ramps to meet declining lake levels and NPS has ignored or denied their requests for permits. Antelope Point would personally pay for these improvements with approval and so there is no reason for the NPS to increase their fees to cover them. They just need to give approval to Antelope to do it.

I get the sense that this is more of a cash grab from the wealthy more than anything where any boat over 100' doubles in fees to $1600. Who in the right mind would be 'willing' or 'okay' to pay $1600 for an annual boat fee except for the 'rich' or 'wealthy'. It seems a little messed up to me (even being someone who is not wealthy myself). It's literally a 3200% increase in price.
Not just targeting the wealthy…It’s a 100% increase for boats 27’-40’. Even boats 26’ and under get hit for 20% more.

Definitely money grab plain and simple.

The laughable part is anyone can enter the Wahweap North and South un-staffed gates before 8 am or after 5 pm, skip the self-pay kiosk and use the lake for free knowing there’s literally no on-water enforcement. Same applies 24/7 Oct - May when the gates are never manned.

Don’t get me wrong, we pay our fees every year. It’s just very frustrating because we always have to get the receipt from the self-pay kiosk in January, hold onto the receipt till May or June when NPS gets around to staffing the gates, then visit the gates several times till they finally have the stickers in stock. One year we lost the receipt and ended up having to pay another $100 for 2 boats.

Call me skeptical, but the 3200% increase on Adonia and Bravada houseboats will not change a single thing. Meanwhile we (along with many other Wordlings) will continue to do our part…and now pay MORE…so we can clean-up the lake, taking care to leave it cleaner than we found it.


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