Open house to be held on proposal to charge fee for camping on Four Pass Loop |

Open house to be held on proposal to charge fee for camping on Four Pass Loop

Staff report
The Maroon Bells are reflected in Crater Lake in Aspen on Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

The U.S. Forest Service will hold an open house in Basalt on Sept. 1 to share information with the public about the proposed permit fee for overnight camping in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.

The open house will be from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Basalt Regional Library at 14 Midland Ave. The public is invited to attend and confer with Forest Service personnel who will attend.

The Forest Service has proposed a $12 per night, per person fee for the highest visited areas in the wilderness area from May 1 through Oct. 31. Reservations would be required for the permit at, which charges an additional processing fee. The fee is currently $6.

If approved, the fee will be applied to the Four Pass Loop, including Crater Lake, as well as Geneva Lake and Capitol Lake. A fee also would be applied to Conundrum Hot Springs, which already requires reservations and permits.

“The Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is an iconic destination that is seeing significant impacts from heavy overnight use, including trash and waste, user conflicts and loss of vegetation,” the Forest Service said in a news release. “In the last 10 years, use has nearly quadrupled in this wilderness area, leading to significant overcrowding and environmental damage. Revenues generated by the fee program would provide a sustainable source of revenue to allow the Forest Service to address these impacts.”

More information about the proposal and how to comment is available at Comments need to be received by Sept. 15.