Forest Service may double Hunter Campground overnight fees in 2023

Hunter Campground is frequented by pack and saddle stock users; the forest service is proposing a rate increase that would more than double to current cost for overnight camping (U.S. Forest Service)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Overnight camping fees at a popular equestrian campground east of the Cloud Peak Wilderness could more than double next year, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Starting in 2023, the forest service is proposing to increase overnight camping fees at Hunter Campground from $10 per night to $22.

Hunter Campground is a popular overnight spot utilized by pack and saddle stock users, forest service says, offering hitching rails, corrals, an accessible mounting ramp, and is conveniently located a short ride away from the Cloud Peak Wilderness to the west.

Hunter Campground lies just to the east of Cloud Peak Wilderness border in the Big Horn National Forest (U.S. Forest Service)

The site offers developed parking, a solar-powered drinking water system, fire rings, picnic tables, and other amenities that justify a fee increase based on market analyses of similar sites elsewhere, per the forest service.

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“Operating and maintaining a campground with so many amenities and services is costly for the Forest Service and requires user-based revenue to support daily operations and annual maintenance,” the forest service says. “Current revenue is insufficient for managing the amenities and services provided at the campground.”

Without a fee increase, some amenities and services may need to be discontinued with inflation continuing to diminish the agency’s purchasing power for materials, supplies, and staffing, per the forest service.

Public comment on the issue will be accepted for nine more days, with the public comment period closing on Sept. 30, the forest service says.