To generate funds needed for maintenance, the National Park Service is considering increases to fees at highly visited national parks during peak visitor seasons. Proposed peak season entrance fees and revised fees for road-based commercial tours will generate much needed revenue for improvements to the aging infrastructure of national parks.
Under the proposal, peak season entrance fees would be established at 17 national parks. The peak season for each park would be defined as its busiest contiguous five-month period of visitation. These changes would not affect southern Utah until May 2018.
During a five-month peak season at each of the 17 parks, the proposed entrance fee would be $70 per vehicle, $50 per motorcycle, and $30 per person. All of the funds would be used to improve facilities, infrastructure, and visitor services with an emphasis on deferred maintenance projects.
The peak season for each park is defined as the busiest contiguous five month period and would be as follows:
—May 1–Sept. 30 for Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Denali National Park, Glacier National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Olympic National Park, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park.
—June 1–Oct. 31 for Acadia National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Shenandoah National Park.
—Jan. 1–May 31 for Joshua Tree National Park.
The public is encouraged to comment about the National Park Service’s proposal to implement peak-season entrance fees at 17 national parks. A 30-day public comment period opened Oct. 24 and will close Nov. 23. The public can submit comments electronically at parkplanning.nps.gov/proposedpeakseasonfeerates. Comments can be submitted using00000 the “Document List” or “Open For Comment” project links in the left-side navigation menu. Visitors to the site should open the document and use the “Comment Now” button. Comments will also be accepted in writing. They can be mailed to National Park Service, Recreation Fee Program, 1849 C Street, NW, Mail Stop: 2346 Washington, DC 20240.
The National Park Service also proposed entrance and permit fee adjustments for commercial tour operators. The proposal would increase entrance fees for commercial operators and standardize commercial use authorization, or CUA, requirements for road-based commercial tours, including application and management fees. All CUA fees stay within the collecting park and would fund rehabilitation projects for buildings, facilities, parking lots, roads, and wayside exhibits that would enhance the visitor experience. The fees will also cover the administrative costs of receiving, reviewing, and processing CUA applications and required reports.
This proposal would also include a peak-season commercial entrance fee structure for the 17 national parks referenced above.
Information and a forum for public comments regarding the commercial permit requirements and commercial tour fees are available through Nov. 23 at parkplanning.nps.gov/commercialtourrequirements. Written comments may be sent to National Park Service, Recreation Fee Program, 1849 C Street, NW, Mail Stop: 2346 Washington, DC 20240.