Yosemite among National Parks that may see fee increases

NPS news release
WASHINGTON – As part of its commitment to improve the visitor experience and ensure America’s national parks are protected in perpetuity, the National Park Service (NPS) is considering increases to fees at highly visited national parks during peak visitor seasons.

A local family from Mammoth Lakes, Ca enjoys a warm, sunny day today (Saturday 1/14) at 10,000 feet in January! This was shot at Tenaya Lake in Yosemite. Photo courtesy of Cheryl Hogan Photography in Mammoth Lakes.

Proposed peak season entrance fees and revised fees for road-based commercial tours 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.
“The infrastructure of our national parks is aging and in need of renovation and restoration,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “Targeted fee increases at some of our most-visited parks will help ensure that they are protected and preserved in perpetuity and that visitors enjoy a world-class experience that mirrors the amazing destinations they are visiting. We need to have the vision to look at the future of our parks and take action in order to ensure that our grandkids’ grandkids will have the same if not better experience than we have today. Shoring up our parks’ aging infrastructure will do that.”
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.
The proposed new fee structure would be implemented at Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Denali, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Olympic, Sequoia & Kings Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Zion National Parks with peak season starting on May 1, 2018; in Acadia, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain, and Shenandoah National Parks with peak season starting on June 1, 2018; and in Joshua Tree National Park as soon as practicable in 2018.
A public comment period on the peak-season entrance fee proposal will be open from October 24, 2017 to November 23, 2017, on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website https://parkplanning.nps.gov/proposedpeakseasonfeerates. Written comments can be sent to 1849 C Street, NW, Mail Stop: 2346 Washington, DC 20240.
If implemented, estimates suggest that the peak-season price structure could increase national park revenue by $70 million per year. That is a 34 percent increase over the $200 million collected in Fiscal Year 2016. Under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, 80% of an entrance fee remains in the park where it is collected. The other 20% is spent on projects in other national parks.
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 cost of the annual America the Beautiful- The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, which provides entrance to all federal lands, including parks for a one-year period, would remain $80. Entrance fees are not charged to visitors under 16 years of age or holders of Senior, Military, Access, Volunteer, or Every Kid in a Park (EKIP) passes. The majority of national parks will remain free to enter; only 118 of 417 park sites charge an entrance fee, and the current proposal only raises fees at 17 fee-charging parks.
The National Park Service is also proposing entry and permit fee adjustments for commercial tour operators. The proposal would increase entry fees for commercial operators and standardize commercial use authorization (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.
In addition, the proposal would include a peak-season commercial entry fee structure for the 17 national parks referenced above. All proposed fee adjustments for commercial operators would go into effect following an 18-month implementation window.
Information and a forum for public comments regarding commercial permit requirements and fees is available October 24, 2017 to November 23, 2017 on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commercialtourrequirements. Written comments can be sent to National Park Service, Recreation Fee Program, 1849 C Street, NW, Mail Stop: 2346 Washington, DC 20240.

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3 years ago

I hate to say it but I think this is a much needed fee increase, I don’t like it any more than anyone else. However if the feds operate and spend like the feds always have I see a lot of waste with this statement “The fees will also cover the administrative costs of receiving, reviewing, and processing CUA applications and required reports.”
People will still come, Yosemite is too awesome and everybody knows it.
I don’t see a fee increase affecting our local economy, lift ticket prices increase every year and it seems there are more and more people on the hill every year.
Still much less expensive than a day at Disneyland and much healthier.
If you’re a young person, join the military and get in free, just sayin.

3 years ago

No Bad Days….I’m thinking the same way there as you…last time I went to Yosemite Valley,I needed a vacation from my vacation afterwards going up there…TONS of people,many screaming out-of-control children and unleashed dogs harassing my dog…so many people ,noise,traffic-jams and things takes away from the beauty of the area,up there and all around the Owens Valley and Mono County…people gotta think of something else besides the areas “economy”,as far as tourism goes…speaking for myself,I didn’t move away and here to make my millions…if I only based my life around making money,I’d either move back to Lancaster and make a LOT more doing what I’m doing up here,or hook onto a local job nearby making more than I do, but only if I wanted to work around and with a bunch of loud-mouth guys working 6-10’s that like to talk about themselves a lot….and when they’re not doing that, talking dirty about girls.. and spending all my time working and making $$$,with time for little else fun things wanting to do,before I’m too old to do….I prefer semi-retirement and easy jobs….

Almost Native
Almost Native
3 years ago

You ever feel like your getting ripped off?

No Bad Days
No Bad Days
3 years ago

$50-100 dollars would be good.
Maybe they can cut the amount of tourists packing the roads.

erik simpson
erik simpson
3 years ago
Reply to  No Bad Days

It’s obvious you have no idea how much of the eastern Sierra economy depends on tourism.