SOLDOTNA (AP) -- The state has begun selling passes for parking, camping and boat launching at Alaska parks for next year, and prices are going up.
The day-use parking pass will run $30, an increase of $5 from last year. The annual camping pass has risen from $75 to $100.
The cost of an annual boat launch pass for state facilities remains at $75. Those passes may become more appealing because daily boat launch fees will double next summer, or rise from $5 to $10.
Jim Stratton, director of the state Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation, said this is the first price increase for day-use parking since it was introduced in 1994. It has been 10 years since the last camping price increase in Alaska, he said.
The agency plans to use the extra money for park maintenance and operations, Stratton said.
Cabin rental fees -- which range from $15 to $65 a night -- have not increased.
State parks cabins have been built in a number of scenic areas around Alaska, including at the Nancy Lakes recreation area in the Mat-Su valley and Kachemak Bay near Homer.
The best way to get one is to plan ahead -- way ahead.
As Alaska moves closer to the Winter solstice, it is time to be thinking about ''green grass, birds chirping and salmon running,'' said Chris Degernes, Kenai Peninsula parks superintendent.
The agency is taking reservations now for its public cabins six months in advance.
Degernes said it's time to begin planning for such high-demand summer weekends as July 4.
''If local Alaska residents don't think about this, you can be sure the nonresident visitor is, because they're thinking about their vacation way far in advance,'' she told the Anchorage Daily News.
On the net:
Alaska State Parks home page: www.alaskastateparks.org.
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