The National Park Service (NPS) has announced a proposed increase in fees during peak season at 17 highly visited parks, including Arches and Canyonlands, and invites public comment on the issue.
Fees would increase to $70 for a private vehicle up from $25, $50 for a motorcycle and $30 per person on bike or on foot. Annual passes would be available for $75. Currently, a Southeast Utah parks pass costs $50. The proposed fee increases would go into effect for the busiest contiguous five-month period of visitation.
“The infrastructure of our national parks is aging and in need of renovation and restoration,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke in a press release from the NPS. “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.”
The cost of a National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass would remain the same at $80 for a one-year pass. The National Park Service is also proposing to increase peak-season commercial permit fees.
Information and a forum for public comments regarding commercial permit requirements and fees is available from Oct. 24 to Nov. 23 on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment website at 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.