Massive Fee Increases Proposed for National Parks in 2018

Massive Fee Increases Proposed for National Parks in 2018

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U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke – photo by Gage Skidmore

The National Park Service and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced today plans to increase entrance fees during peak season at many of the nation’s busiest national parks by up to 180%. The proposed new entrance fee would be $70 per vehicle, $50 per motorcycle, and $30 per person on bike or foot. That’s up from $25-$30 at the parks where the increase would be implemented: Arches, Acadia, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Denali, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Mount Rainier, Olympic, Rocky Mountain, Sequoia & Kings Canyon, Shenandoah, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Zion. Under the proposal, the fee for the $80 America the Beautiful national pass remains the same. 

Zinke says the increase is necessary to repair aging infrastructure. “Targeted fee increases at some of our most-visited parks will help ensure that they are protected and preserved in perpetuity and that visitors enjoy a world-class experience that mirrors the amazing destinations they are visiting,” he said.

A public comment period on the proposal will be open until to November 23, 2017, at parkplanning.nps.gov. Written comments can be sent to 1849 C Street, NW, Mail Stop: 2346 Washington, DC 20240.

The Department of the Interior suggests that the new fees will increase national park revenue by $70 million per year. Under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, 80% of an entrance fee remains in the park where it is collected. The other 20% is spent on projects in other national parks.

About author

Jason Epperson

Jason travels the country full-time with his wife Abigail, and three children in a converted school bus.

Comments
  • Gary Adkison#1

    October 24, 2017

    What’s the point? Fees are already higher than necessary. What happens when the parks aren’t filled with campers? Close them? I really hate this federal mentality.

    Reply
    • Debbie#2

      October 25, 2017

      Please don’t blame the NPS for this. This comes from Zinke & this administration. The saddest part of this is that it prices middle and lower income Americans out of their national parks. The NPS would never have proposed this on their own. How do I know this? I’m a former NPS superintendent.

      Reply
      • Karen#3

        October 25, 2017

        Exactly my thoughts! Just said the same thing. I love our NPS and am so sad access will be denied to so many. And if we weren’t funding a war that we should have never been in to begin we would have the money.

        Reply
  • Alice Goidman#4

    October 25, 2017

    50years camping in Shenandoah. How do these changes affect our long held Senior National Park Passes?

    Reply
  • Susan Hanson#6

    October 25, 2017

    I knew this would happen! There is really no interest in doing anything for our parks. I believe this is a ploy to justify closing them so they have a reason to sell them off to the highest bidders. I have long thought that the fees charged were too low but $70.00 per car on a daily basis!! That will eliminate a huge part of the population from exploring our beautiful treasures. When I purchased my Senior Pass in 2012, it was $10.00 and I told the clerk that I thought that was too little to ask for a lifetime of enjoyment. I would have been happy to pay more. I think we need to speak up now!! I tell you this is the beginning of the end!🌲😖

    Reply
    • Karen#7

      October 25, 2017

      Ditto!

      Reply
    • Ellen Rumpff#8

      October 25, 2017

      Susan, you do realize the cost of the senior pass has gone up this year? It now cost $80.00.

      Reply
  • Roberts Shellenbarger#9

    October 25, 2017

    So the taxes I’ve paid all my working life to support these parks, and create new ones, you know the federal income tax money…. What the hell happened to it? Why was it not used to “support and replace the aging infrastructure”. Isn’t that what the national parks budget allowance is for? Those were public lands, with no restrictions for access, before being “protected” for future generations… At least that the line they gave my grandfather’s when their hunting grounds were incorporated into the “park” system. Ok then I AM THAT FUTURE GENERATION now 75 years later… Still restricted or pay to play access…What the hell…over and out!

    Reply
  • TR#10

    October 25, 2017

    I learned in marketing not to over charge in big leaps. This would apply to all. It would be great if parks had large decrease in price during low turn off season months, if this were to become the case. I feel they will get less people. Maybe only the wealthy? So let them pay for changes I guess. But many will be left out. Then they privatize the National parks when no one goes due to too high of increase? Almost sounds political. I hate to feel this way to not trust what is going on.

    Reply
  • TR#11

    October 25, 2017

    I feel that price increase might be justified for more security doe to the changing times. But lets be still real. Can’t some local folks buy some season pass that is affordable?

    Reply
  • Harlowe Thrombey#12

    October 25, 2017

    Only a–holes use generators in the National Parks, in earshot of others (such as campgrounds).

    Reply
  • Tammie Singer#13

    October 25, 2017

    I’m afraid that this will have the effect of turning public opinion against them at a time when they desperately need the public to rise up in support of them. 🙁

    Reply
    • Jackie Benjamin#14

      October 26, 2017

      My thoughts exactly. Reminds me of Disneyland’s exorbitant prices…except these are tax-payer funded parks! Public parks should have reasonable entry fees so that ALL can enjoy their beauty!

      Reply
  • J. McQuillen#15

    October 25, 2017

    I don’t mind paying more, but this much of an increase is ridiculous.

    Reply

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