Howdy Campateers,

Question: I've seen several campgrounds listing an "iron ranger" as a feature. What is this?

Answer: An "iron ranger" is a fee collection box used at campgrounds that do not have full time attendants. Upon entrance to the campground, you deposit your nightly fee(s) in an envelope with your name and site number and drop this in the collection box. At sometime during the day, a park ranger will make rounds of the campgrounds and collect the fees. You will often see these in National Park and National Forest campgrounds.

What happens if you don't pay. A park ranger will drive through the campground and note license plate numbers and what spaces are being used for camping. Then he matches the envelopes that he collected from the Iron Ranger to the camp sites. If he doesn't see an envelope for the site that you are in, he won't come back and ask you for your fee. Instead, within a few months you'll receive a hefty fine somewhere between $75.00 per night to $150.00 per night fine in your mail. Try fighting it and it's like you picked a fight with the US government. Not a smart thing to do on your part!

My point: Iron Ranger Always On Duty!!! Campateer beware!

If you became entangled in a fine of this type and would like to chat about it, here's your chance to do so! It's a forum, you know. Comments are always welcomed, and thanks for looking and spending time here when you're not camping. If you're campin' and lookin' good fer you!


Washoe Lake State Park, Nevada

The Iron Ranger

Fee Envelopes

Payin' the fee, by cracky!