Proposed Fee Increase at National Parks

Started by MountainDon, October 25, 2017, 08:49:17 AM

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"During the peak season at each park, the entrance fee would be $70 per private, non-commercial vehicle, $50 per motorcycle, and $30 per person on bike or foot. A park-specific annual pass for any of the 17 parks would be available for $75."

The full story on the proposal is here.

There is a link for comments in the above article.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


ouch.  seems charging such a high fee would deter many people from going thereby reducing the money they receive. 


Not sure what I think about this. Infrastructure IS degrading seriously in most all of the parks.  Last time I camped at Mesa Verde the campground bathrooms installed in the 1970s were still in use, and in very bad shape.  NPS and Interior budget, already tiny, are being cut drastically (-400 million I heard), and presumably along with that most all park maintenance funds, so this is a use tax.  Much like Fee Demo on USFS lands, so long as the funds go to the local forest, and not the General Fund, it can be helpful. Fee Demo was never such a draconian increase. $3 to park most can afford.  $70 to get into Grand Canyon puts the park out of reach for many. Conversely it may lower visitation - which would not be a bad thing at the big parks. If you have visited Zion recently you know how heavy that and similar parks are being used.  Regardless of all that, I think the entrance fee set at $70 is MUCH to high.

I'm sure the unstated goal is to privatise all services and maintenance and charge accordingly. It is a focused use tax increase and is rather massive when you look at it from this perspective. And of course with privatization comes profit.  Not the way I want to see public parklands go.


I haven't gone back to read the enabling legislation that set up the parks but I believe it is outside of original intent... for whatever that is worth. I made the most use of the parks when I was young and poor. We have a free labor force that would benefit from physical work in the woods.

John Raabe

I used to feel - and still do - that the national parks system was an inherent right of being American and that voters would generally support that idea of protecting the parks and making them available to all Americans through federal funds. However, a consensus for making this ever-increasing expense totally the responsibility of the federal government would be difficult in the current fiscal and political environment. So - barring a magical source of new funding, fees will need to go up. For wealthy travelers and families, $70-75/family would not inhibit their travel. For other families, there should be a way to have access, perhaps by a lottery, to spaces set aside for that purpose.
Looking forward to other ideas on this topic. 
None of us are as smart as all of us.


For several years the popular National Parks have bid out the camp ground management to private vendors. A couple years ago it was already $30-50 a night at the 'popular parks.' Our favorite park, the north unit of Teddy Roosevelt is a hidden gem and was still affordable, I think run by the the park itself.

Our experience time and time again was that the National Forest offered a much better experience. I think for every park we could give you a spot in the forest near there with free camping, and without the zoo, that was just as nice.

North rim of the grand canyon in Kaibab National Forest, as close to the edge as it looks