When the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) proposed drastic hikes to admission fees last fall, the reaction was swift and negative. It seems the NPS heard what people will saying.
National Parks Prices Rising in 2018
The Interior Department announced yesterday that it will back off a plan to more than double admission fees at some of the most popular parks. Instead, visitors to the 117 parks in the National Parks system will see a “modest” increase, usually in the range of $5.
In a statement, the NPS said the revised fee hike “comes in response to public comments on a fee proposal released in October 2017” and will “raise additional revenue to address the $11.6 billion in deferred maintenance across the system of 417 parks, historic and cultural sites, and monuments.” The proposal last fall drew over 100,000 comments from the public.
According to the NPS’ statement, “most seven-day vehicle passes to enter national parks will be increased by $5 and will be implemented in many parks beginning June 1, 2018. Yosemite National Park for example will increase the price of a seven-day vehicle pass to the park from $30 to $35. More than two-thirds of national parks will remain free to enter.” The NPS maintains a list of entrance fees on its website.
Critics of the original proposal cited concerns that ordinary Americans would be priced out of visiting the parks. At the same time, National Parks are more popular than ever, with record visitation in 2017. Most of that traffic occurs at a handful of the system’s parks, which puts a strain on operations and infrastructure. Raising entrance fees was therefore necessary, but doubling them was clearly a bridge too far.
Readers, would you have continued to visit our national parks if fees were doubled?