People around the country are weighing in on the National Parks proposal to more than double entry fees at the nation’s most popular parks.
The National Parks Service says that the fee increase would generate badly needed revenue for improvements to the aging infrastructure of national parks. This includes roads, bridges, campgrounds, waterlines, bathrooms, and other visitor services.
National Parks entrance fees have largely stayed unchanged for the past 50 years. Next year, the National Park Service plans to double the cost of an entry pass at its most popular parks during peak season. Currently, an entry pass is $30 per car. Next year, this will go to $70 per car. And there will no longer be an option for day passes. That is, a visitor who is just there for the afternoon will still have to pay $70. These fee “hikes” are slated to include Rocky Mountain National Park, near Estes Park. KGNU’s Shelley Schlender visited Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park and discovered that people there have mixed opinions about the fees.
While most National Parks don’t track how many people visit the parks for a day, versus for a week, Rocky Mountain National Parks does, and reports that among carloads of people seeking a short-term ticket into the park, 80% are day visitors and 20% choose a ticket for a week. If next year’s proposal goes through, the entry fee for even a day’s visit will more than double, to $70.
The comment period ends November 23rd. Comments can be made online.