National parks float entry-fee increase
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Visiting national parks could get a little pricier.
The National Park Service said 115 of its 401 units plan to seek public comment on entrance fees that could go up starting next year. It’s part of a broader effort by the agency to bring in more money for visitor services and start addressing a backlog of projects before its centennial.
The Grand Canyon announced a proposal Friday to increase its single-vehicle entrance fee from $25 to $30 for a seven-day pass.
Efforts to raise fees at other parks across the country will be wide-ranging but cannot top certain limits. The Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion and Sequoia are among 10 parks where proposed entrance fees will be capped at $30 per vehicle or $15 per person, the Park Service said.
About 130 national park units charge entrance fees, and they are able to keep 80 percent of those fees for use within the individual park. The other 20 percent goes into a pool and is distributed to parks that don’t charge visitors to enter.
Entrance fees pay for things like repairs and maintenance, visitor exhibits and resource protection. At the Grand Canyon, a percentage of entrance fees is set aside for eventual replacement of aging water pipelines.
Under the Grand Canyon’s proposal, prices for visitors on motorcycles also would go up from $20 to $25. Bicyclists and pedestrians would be charged $15, up from $12. Annual passes would go from $50 to $60. The price of a pass to visit any of the national park units would remain the same at $80 per year.
The public has 60 days to weigh in on the proposed increases at Grand Canyon.