National Park Service Entrance Fee Hike Is Not As Bad As Initially Expected
Park visitors can rest easy: The price increase is nominal compared to the government agency’s original plans
As the busy summer season fast approaches, the National Park Service officially released its revised plan for park fees.
Last fall, the Department of Interiors proposed a hotly debated fee increase for seventeen national parks across the country, resulting in 100,000-plus comments from dissatisfied park-goers during the public commenting period.
The initial proposal would have raised entry fees from $25 to $70, a dramatic leap aimed at improving park infrastructure and addressing the almost $12 billion maintenance backlog for the expansive network of national parks and monuments across the country.
In rethinking the plan, the National Park Service has decided to increase 7-day vehicle passes by $5 for the country’s 117 fee-charging parks, and pledges that at least 80 percent of collected fees will go towards projects within that park. The new fees will be implemented in most parts June 1, though some will raise fees incrementally until January 2020.