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Adventure / October 29, 2017

National Park fees are going up. Way up.

Written by: Brenna Stevens

Planning a trip to the Grand Canyon next summer? Better bring your checkbook.

The National Park Service is considering pretty serious fee hikes at America’s most popular national parks. If enacted, they’d drive entry rates up to $70 per vehicle during peak season. That’s way, way up from current rates, which are currently either $25 or $30 per vehicle (depending on the park).

If the changes go through, they’ll impact rates in these parks:

  • Denali National Park (Alaska)
  • Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)
  • Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana)
  • Zion National Park (Utah)
  • Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)
  • Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)
  • Glacier National Park (Montana)
  • Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)
  • Arches National Park (Utah)
  • Canyonlands National Park (Utah)
  • Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)
  • Acadia National Park (Maine)
  • Yosemite National Park (California)
  • Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park (California)
  • Joshua Tree National Park (California)
  • Mount Rainier National Park (Washington)
  • Olympic National Park (Washington)

The NPS has published a detailed fact sheet on the national park fee increases, which provides all the details for each park. But the jist is this: the rate hikes would only apply to park-specific access fees, and only during each park’s “peak season” (May–September in most cases). The new fees would take effect in 2018.

The America the Beautiful Pass, which provides unlimited access to all parks for a full year, would hold its current price of $80. (So if the rate hikes do go through, we strongly recommend buying one of those).

If approved, the NPS estimates the fee increases will bring in more than $70 million in revenue each year. That money will go toward a backlog of almost $12 billion in infrastructure projects, which include maintenance of campgrounds, bathrooms, and other visitor services.

The public comment period for the rate hike proposal expires at 11:59 PM MST on November 23. You can submit comments online here.

Do you have questions or comments about this piece? Email them to [email protected]


about the author

Brenna Stevens

Born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, Brenna has spent more of her life outdoors than in. An avid camper, backpacker, and wine drinker, she writes primarily about outdoor culture for Shoulders of Giants.

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