The deadlines, originally scheduled for Nov. 23, have been extended to accommodate interest in this issue from members of Congress and the public. Already, more than 65,000 comments have been received on the proposals.
Under the proposals, peak-season entrance fees would be established at 17 highly visited national parks, including Canyonlands and Arches. The peak season for each park would include its busiest five-month period of visitation. The peak season entrance fee for a seven-day pass to each park 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 parks pass, which provides entrance to all federal lands, including all national 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 passes. The majority of national parks will remain free to enter; only 118 of the 417 national parks have an entrance fee.
The proposed new fee structure would be implemented at Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Denali, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Olympic, Sequoia and 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.
The public comment period on the peak-season entrance fee proposal is open until Dec. 22 on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment website at parkplanning.nps.gov/proposedpeakseasonfeerates. Written comments can be sent to 1849 C Street, NW, Mail Stop: 2346 Washington, DC 20240.