In response to a massive influx of complaints, the National Park Service announced yesterday that it will drastically scale back their original plan to raise entrance fees in some of the nation’s most popular national parks. The original proposal called for nearly doubling the entrance fees during the peak season at 17 national parks.
According to Theresa Pierno, president of the National Parks Conservation Association, the National Park Service received over 100,000 comments after unveiling their plan in November 2017, 98% of which were against what was seen as draconian fee increases.
The revised plan calls for smaller fee increases at all the nationals parks – in most cases just $5. The fees for park specific annual passes will also increase too. So for example the entrance fee to Yosemite National Park will go up from $30 to $35, while the price for a Yosemite annual pass will increase from $60 to $70. These changes will go into effect on June 1, 2018, so if you’re thinking about buying a park-specific annual pass this year, do it sooner rather than later.
Additionally, a few parks – like Badlands National Park – will see fee increases in 2019 and 2020. In that park, the entrance fee will rise from $20 to $25 on January 1, 2019, and go up another $5 on January 1, 2020.
Currently the National Park Service has a maintenance backlog of $11.6 billion, and these new fees will help the parks perform much needed repairs and upgrades. Additionally, 80 percent of the fees collected will stay in the park that collects them.
A park-by-park chart of the new fee increases can be found at www.nps.gov/aboutus/entrance-fee-prices.htm.
There are no changes to the America the Beautiful Access Pass, which is still free to US citizens and residents with a permanent disability.