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Wanna Play in Oregon’s Great Outdoors This Spring? It’ll Cost You.

Kayakers, hikers, anglers, and RV’ers: prepare to cough up.

By Julia Silverman February 25, 2020 Published in the March 2020 issue of Portland Monthly

Ask most of the thousands of new residents flooding into Oregon each year why they moved to our fair state, and the so-called “rhododendron factor”—the natural beauty, mountain to desert, ocean to gorge—often comes up. But all that love takes a toll. Trails get crowded and trampled, rivers are clogged, and snagging a spot in a campground might require online queueing up months in advance. To create a little breathing room, and raise some funds for much-needed maintenance, there are new permits and fees teed up for this year. (Short on cash? Keep an eye out for regular “free” days on the calendar for both state and national parks.)


Per vehicle cost of entry into Crater Lake National Park this summer, twice as much as it was two years ago


Cost of an Oregon fishing license in 2020, $11 more than six years ago


Hiking trails in Central Oregon that will require a permit this summer, available in limited numbers and covering hotspots in the Three Sisters, Mount Jefferson, and Mount Washington wilderness areas


Proposed fee per hiker over 12 for the day-use permits, including a $1 reservation fee


Cost of a new-for-2020 annual ‘waterway access permit’ for nonmotorized boats more than 10 feet long, including paddleboards and inflatable rafts


Proposed fine for failure to fork over for a boating permit after August 1


Acres of backcountry covered by the new Central Cascades overnight camping permit system, in effect May–September

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