Heads up: As of Jan. 15, the price of a visit to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area has doubled, from $5 per vehicle to $10. Lake use fees are also going up, from $10 to $16.
Yes, that hurts. But the park has issues to deal with—dropping lake levels that necessitate moving and extending boat ramps, grading beaches, updating the visitor’s center, navigation buoys, etc. That stuff ain’t free. The park gets almost 8 million visitors a year, making it the fifth most visited facility in the National Park Service. On average, it spends about $6 million in facility upgrades every time the lake drops 20 feet.
But let’s look on the bright side. This is the first time the park has raised fees since it started charging for entrance in 2000, and now your ducats buy seven days of access instead of five. Plus there is a way for locals to get in much cheaper: Pop for an annual pass for $30, go 10 times and you’ve cheated the government out of $70. Doesn’t that feel good?