Entrance fees at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument south of Ajo will more than double beginning June 1 — from the current fee of $12 per vehicle to $25.
Entrance fees for motorcycles will increase from $12 to $20.
Annual passes will go up from $30 to $45, and fees at the monument’s Twin Peaks Campground will increase from $16 to $20 a night.
Monument officials say the higher fees are necessary to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance needs.
“Revenues generated from park fees at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument will be used in projects that directly benefit the public,” said Jacqueline Lavelle, superintendent of the monument. “Visitors will see new shade structures, picnic tables, informational waysides, as well as road and hiking trail improvements.
“We are committed to providing a quality experience for all park visitors, and these fees will help fund these enhancements,” Lavelle said.
Frank Torres, chief of interpretation and visitor services at the monument, said infrastructure work could include upgrading restroom facilities and campground sites.
The 330,000-acre monument — known for the unusual organ pipe cactus and other desert vegetation — has attracted about 250,000 visitors annually in recent years, Torres said.
He said he doesn’t anticipate that the fee increases will have a great impact on monument visitation.
“In the big picture, I don’t see that it will be a humongous problem,” Torres said. “It could impact the local public” in nearby towns such as Ajo. “But about 80 percent of visitors are campground users, and quite a few have annual passes or senior passes” — meaning that they wouldn’t be directly impacted with increased monument entrance fees.