One of the perks we might (or might not) brag to friends about living in Idaho is our amazing outdoor recreation.  One of our most popular free camping spots has decided to start charging. 

Horsetheif Reservoir has offered a free campground, but will be moving to a pay model in July.  The reason for the change is a new partnership with Idaho and Fish and Game (who owns the campground) and the Treasure Valley Family YMCA (who will be operating it) and their plans to improve the facility moving forward.

The charge for camping will be $15 per night starting on July 1st.  The collected fees will be used for improvements to the campground, and staffing to oversee the campground for around half the year.

Horsetheif's campground has become a top destination for Idaho campers, and that popularity and usage caused Fish and Game to use far more budget for this specific site than expected.  This new agreement will both reduce the expenses related to Horsetheif for Fish and Game, and also serve as a good introduction and addition for the YMCA who has a camp adjacent to the campground.

The Idaho Statesman took an in-depth look at this arrangement and the history of Horsetheif, and you can find that, HERE.