National Park Service raises entrance fees
The Interior Department is abandoning a plan to more than double entrance fees to some of the country’s most popular national parks, opting instead to apply a “modest” fee increase to 117 parks beginning this summer in an effort to raise funds for park maintenance.
The announcement Thursday comes after a loud outcry from the public and lawmakers, who were concerned that certain large increases that were initially proposed would price people out of the nation’s parks.
The original proposal, which called for nearly tripling entrance fees to 17 of the most popular parks during their peak season, generated more than 100,000 public comments.
“I want to thank the American people who made their voices heard through the public comment process on the original fee proposal,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement. “Your input has helped us develop a balanced plan that focuses on modest increases at the 117 fee-charging parks as opposed to larger increases proposed for 17 highly visited national parks.”
Entrance fees for vehicles will increase by $5 at the fee-charging parks, starting in June. Park-specific annual passes will also cost more, though the price will vary from park to park.
The price for the annual “America the Beautiful” pass, which allows access to most parks, and the Lifetime Senior Pass will continue to be $80.
More than two-thirds of national parks, historic sites and monuments will remain free to enter, the National Park Service says.
Click here for a complete list of the fee increases.
The annual pass for all the parks is still $80