Pictured:  The McDowell Mountain Park, which is included in the parks that will see an increase in recreational fees.
Photo courtesy of the Maricopa Parks
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New Equestrian, Hike, Bike pass introduced for Maricopa Parks, small increase to fees


PHOENIX – The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a modest adjustment to several park and recreation fees with exception of Spur Cross Conservation Area and the Hassayampa River Preserve.
In addition to the adjustments, the department also sought approval to add a new service, a hike/bike/equestrian annual pass. This service is aimed at park visitors who hike or ride directly into the park without using the parking and staging areas and is $30.

Revised fees that increased include:

  • Day-use entry;
  • Camping and early check-out;
  • Annual pass fees would remain the same; however, additional and replacement cards would increase
  • Special use applications

Replacement cards for annual pass holders will now cost $2, vehicle entry to parks will increase by $1 and camping fee increases range from $2 to $3.

Before the request to adjust fees reached the board for consideration, the department presented market study comparisons, public survey results, and the proposed fee adjustments to the Parks Commission for discussion and approval. This information was also made available on both the county and department’s websites for public review, notices were posted at all county parks, and ads were run in the newspaper.

Prior to taking this to a vote, the board hosted a public hearing to ensure any concerns were taken into consideration.  No public requests to speak were entered. The new fees will go into effect on April 1, 2018.

“The increase to the selected fees are necessary for us to be able to continue providing quality outdoor recreation experiences to visitors who use the parks and conservation areas,” stated R.J. Cardin, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department Director. 

It has been more than 11 years since the park entry fee was last raised and four years since camping fees were last increased.

“Inflation, although relatively modest, continues to increase and is displayed in what the department pays for goods and services – including basic utilities; equipment; insurance; technology; maintenance, and repair charges,” he said.

For a detailed listing of fees affected by the adjustments visit the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department website at www.maricopacountyparks.net .