Loading...

Yes, National Parks Prices are Going Up So Here are the Free Days!

So, you might have heard that the National Park Service is dramatically increasing the entrance fee to many parks by as much as 4-fold!

It is true! For example,

Fortunately, the NPS has kept the Free Days through the year, though they have even cut the amount of those days. Yikes!

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Oct. 24 call to dramatically raise entrance fees at 17 popular national parks — in some cases from $25 to $70 per car.

The National Park Service says the hike could raise $70 million a year to chip away at a $12 billion backlog of deferred maintenance on roads and buildings. Proponents claim it’s a necessary step toward ensuring the future of chronically underfunded public lands. But fee watchdogs and many conservation groups see it as simply another example of a dangerous trend: federal lands run less like a public resource and more like a commercial enterprise.

In 2018, there will only be to ur entrance fee-free days:

January 15 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

April 21 – First Day of National Park Week

September 22 – National Public Lands Day

November 11 – Veterans Day

“National parks connect all of us with our country’s amazing nature, culture and history,” National Park Service Deputy Director Michael T. Reynolds said in a press release. “The days that we designate as fee-free for national parks mark opportunities for the public to participate in service projects, enjoy ranger-led programs, or just spend time with family and friends exploring these diverse and special places. We hope that these fee-free days offer visitors an extra incentive to enjoy their national parks in 2018.”

There is the very credible argument that the fee hikes are needed to account for maintenance of less popular parks and to help alleviate a budget shortfall or to subsidize free parks.

Normally, 118 of the 417 national parks charge an entrance fee. The other 299 national parks do not have entrance fees.

The entrance fee waiver for the fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.

Some think the switch is to drive sales to the annual pass which is still available For $80!

The America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass which allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including all national parks that charge an entrance fee.

You also can take advantage of the free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, current members of the military, families of fourth grade students, and disabled citizens.

Other federal land management agencies offering their own fee-free days in 2018 include the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, and Army Corps of Engineers.

Look out for those!!

The National Park System includes more than 84 million acres and is comprised of 417 sites, including national parks, national historical parks, national monuments, national recreation areas, national battlefields, and national seashores. There is at least one national park in every state.

U.S. Department of the Interior’s Oct. 24 call to dramatically raise entrance fees at 17 popular national parks — in some cases from $25 to $70 per car.

The National Park Service says the hike could raise $70 million a year to chip away at a $12 billion backlog of deferred maintenance on roads and buildings. Proponents claim it’s a necessary step toward ensuring the future of chronically underfunded public lands. But fee watchdogs and many conservation groups see it as simply another example of a dangerous trend: federal lands run less like a public resource and more like a commercial enterprise.

Last year, 331 million people visited national parks spending $18.4 billion which supported 318,000 jobs across the country and had a $35 billion impact on the U.S. economy.

Read more about the debate here

You might also like