The National Park Service wants to more than double entrance fees at 17 of its most popular parks.
The peak season for each park would be defined as its busiest contiguous five-month period of visitation.
Under the agency’s proposal, the entrance fee for a private vehicle would jump to $70 during peak season, from its current rate of $25 to $30.
The cost of an annual pass, which permits entrance into all federal lands and parks, would remain at $80.
If implemented, estimates suggest that the peak-season price structure could increase national park revenue by $70 million per year.
The National Park Service says the increase would help pay for badly needed improvements to roads, bridges, and campgrounds.
“The infrastructure of our national parks is aging and in need of renovation and restoration,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “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. We need to have the vision to look at the future of our parks and take action in order to ensure that our grandkids’ grandkids will have the same if not better experience than we have today. Shoring up our parks’ aging infrastructure will do that.”
The proposed new fee structure 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; in Acadia, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain, and Shenandoah National Parks with peak season starting on June 1, 2018; and in Joshua Tree National Park as soon as practicable in 2018.
A public comment period on the peak-season entrance fee proposal is open through Nov. 23 on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website.
Written comments can be sent to 1849 C Street, NW, Mail Stop: 2346 Washington, DC 20240.
The National Park Service is also proposing entry and permit fee adjustments for commercial tour operators.Click here for more information on that.