The Bivy Campground at Smith Rock Still Remains a Great Deal, Even With a $3 Rate Hike

campers on the Bivy Rim overlooking the Crooked River gorge below

campers on the Bivy Rim overlooking the Crooked River gorge below

October 20, 2017

Believe it or not, Motel 6 used to be just $6 when it started in 1962. Now it's over $60 per night in Bend—$100 in some other locations. That's just a little perspective on the very modest increase from $5 to $8 for camping at Smith Rock State Park come November 1, 2017.

And while Motel 6 might come with a bed, it certainly doesn't come with a view or access to one of the most loved areas in the nation. (Plus showers, a communal cooking area, sinks, charging station, and a free Little Library.)

The increase is actually $2.00 from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), but due to a corresponding increase in lodging tax, it is $3.00 total increase.

The Bivy Campground ATM will switch over on Nov 1st and will run the same as before —exact change and cash or credit.

The Oregon Legislature approved the $2 increase as part of the 2017-19 Oregon Parks and Recreation Department budget. After a public comment period in August and September, the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission approved the rate increase in its September 2017 meeting.

“The $2 rate increase aligns with the views expressed in past park surveys that show visitors prefer smaller rate increases on a more frequent basis than a large fee increase in the future,” says Lisa Sumption, director of OPRD. “We do not receive tax dollars for operation of our parks. Nearly all our funding comes from visitors, a portion of RV registration dollars, and the Oregon Lottery.”

Oregon’s state parks attract 2.7 million campers and 51.5 million day visitors every year, consistently ranking in the nation’s top 10 state park systems, with Smith Rock State Park in the top 6. OPRD last raised its camping rates in 2014. Still an awesome deal.