Iowa state park camping fees to increase this year

Iowa DNR

Iowa DNR

DES MOINES, Iowa -- It could cost you more to camp in Iowa state parks this year--depending on where you go.

"This is the first increase of the fees for 21 years, coming into 2021" says Todd Coffelt, Iowa Department of Natural Resources State Parks, Forests and Preserves bureau chief.

He says under the DNR's new four-tier system the highest camping fees will be in state parks with the most visitors and amenities.

"That approach is really based on the type of amenity, it's based on the type of campsite, and it's based on how the public uses the resource." Coffelt says. "It depends on where you go and what you want to do, how the fee is going to affect you" he says.

Camping fees in the larger parks state parks could cost anywhere from 25 to 55 percent more this year.

Coffelt says the DNR also hopes the new fee system will encourage more camping at lower-use parks where it will be cheaper.

"We want people to go look at all the different parks, because they all something different to offer. And, you might be able to beat the crowd" Coffelt says.

As an example, the DNR says people who want to camp at Ledges State park in Boone County this year will pay a $26 fee for the full sewer, water and electric site. They say it'll be $20 just for electric, and $14 for a non-electric site.