They are currently looking at increasing fees at highly visited national parks during peak visitor seasons. The proposed peak season entrance fees and revised fees for road-based commercial tours would generate badly needed revenue for improvements to the aging infrastructure of national parks. This includes roads, bridges, campgrounds, waterlines, bathrooms, and other visitor services.
Under the proposal, peak-season entrance fees would be established at only 17 national parks. The peak season for each park would be defined as its busiest contiguous five-month period of visitation. So, during the peak season at each park, the entrance fee would be $70 per private, non-commercial vehicle, $50 per motorcycle, and $30 per person on bike or foot.
These proposed new fees would be implemented at Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Denali, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Olympic, Sequoia & Kings Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Zion National Parks with peak season starting on May 1, 2018.
Fee increases would start at Acadia, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain, and Shenandoah National Parks with peak season starting on June 1, 2018.
Also on the list is Joshua Tree National Park, which will see a fee increase starting as soon as practicable in 2018.
Did You Know? Over 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks, and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.
My husband and I visit several parks throughout the year, and while we’d prefer not to pay more to visit some of our favorites - we understand the reasoning behind the increases. The current estimates suggest that the peak-season price structure could increase national park revenue by $70 million per year. That is a 34 percent increase over the $200 million collected in Fiscal Year 2016.
Save On Your Visit With A Yearly Pass
Now, if the National Park Service does increase prices there are options for saving on your visit to these national treasures.
Those who enjoy camping and recreation at one park often can get a park-specific annual pass for any of the 17 parks, which would be available for $75. This is a good option for those who plan to visit these parks several times throughout the year, which would pay for your pass in just a few visits.
Another option is the annual America the Beautiful Pass that is the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. This particular Pass provides entrance to all federal lands, including parks for a one-year period, and remains only $80. With either Pass you’re helping contribute to preserving our parks, and save money.
Entrance fees are not charged to visitors under 16 years of age or holders of Senior, Military, Access, Volunteer, or Every Kid in a Park (EKIP) passes. The majority of national parks will remain free to enter; only 118 of 417 park sites charge an entrance fee, and the current proposal only raises fees at 17 fee-charging parks
Plan Your Visit To Our National Parks
For the news on fee increases, view area events and programs, and plan your trip by visiting the National Park Service at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.