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Tunnel Creek Rd - NV State Park

Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park - Tunnel Creek / Backcountry Fee Information

Nevada Division of State Parks


Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park is a park-wide fee area, as are all Nevada State Parks. Fees are required everywhere within park boundaries, not just at developed areas. Tunnel Creek is an area where there simply has not been a way for users to pay in the past, due to the lack of a self-pay fee station, despite increasingly heavier usage. We are now correcting a situation that should have been addressed years ago. The backcountry of this park is very porous, with many very remote entry points, and really needs self-pay stations wherever significant usage develops.

Fees are extremely important to park operations. Park lands were set aside by the State of Nevada for use by Nevadans, and other visitors, for recreational purposes, and in most cases those lands had to be purchased. Beyond that, park lands require personnel and operating budgets to develop, maintain and improve facilities, services and resources.

Fees are not only important at highly developed areas, but anywhere within park boundaries. Even the most remote portions of the park, such as the backcountry, require funding to maintain roads, trails, campgrounds, restrooms, sign system, EMS/LE services, as well as for project implementation and resource management. This particular park requires between $750,000 and $800,000 per year to operate (personnel salaries and operating). This does not include the literally millions of project dollars spent through programs like EIP, Tahoe License Plate, State bonds, and other Federal grants. It's true this park typically brings in more than its annual operating budget with fees but it must be noted that fees go into one Division fund statewide and serve to support the entire Nevada State Park system. There are only a few parks in Nevada that fully cover their operating budget with the amount of fees they bring in. Most parks fall dramatically short of this and need to be financially supported.

On average for the park system (and for most western states), park fees cover about 30% of park operations with fees. The rest is subsidized by the State (sales tax and tourism dollars). In order to keep the financial burden low on the State of Nevada and not see taxes rise on everyone, we at Nevada State Parks feel that all possible and reasonable fees must be collected. This, of course, is despite the fact that Park employees are required by law to collect fees for public use of State Parks, per NAC 407.055 (for other applicable laws, refer to NAC 407.057, 407.082 and NRS 205.0832).

Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park is representative of a wide variety of protected natural resources blended with extensive facilities to provide visitor services. Nevada Division of State Parks is proud to manage and maintain the facilities of Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, and bring to its visitors a unique and memorable recreation experience. We hope you can appreciate that this takes funding and resources to accomplish this goal.

Thank you for your understanding and please let us know if you have any further questions. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Bill Champion, Park Supervisor I, Spooner Backcountry Management Area
Jay Howard, Park Supervisor III, Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park

(775) 831-0494 or 

Sue Hughes,
Apr 20, 2015, 9:32 PM