Capitol Reef National Park will modify its seven-day entrance fee from $15 per vehicle to $20 per vehicle, $7 per person to $10 per person, and from $10 per motorcycle to $15 per motorcycle. The Capitol Reef annual pass will increase from $30 to $35, according to a statement from the National Park Service.
In April 2018, the National Park Service announced changes to the entrance fees charged at national parks. The changes, which came in response to public comments on a fee proposal released in October of 2017, have increased entrance fees to raise additional revenue to address the $11.6 billion in deferred maintenance across the system of 418 parks, historic and cultural sites, and monuments, according to the NPS.
The price of the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass and Lifetime Senior Pass will remain $80. The Access Pass, Free Annual Pass for active U.S. military, and Annual 4th Grade Pass are free for qualified U.S. citizens.
All of the revenue from the fee increase will remain at Capitol Reef National Park. The funds will be used for deferred maintenance projects and activities to improve the experience for visitors who visit the park, according to the press release.
Likewise, at Colorado National Monument, entrance fees will increase $5 and campground fees will increase $2 on News Years Day. Entrance fees for private vehicles will be $20 for a seven-day pass. The Saddlehorn campground fee will be $22 per night.
The entrance fee increase was approved in 2016 as a part of a phased increase over a three-year period, said a statement from monument officials. An additional $5 entrance fee increase mandated by the Department of Interior earlier this year will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020.
“The campground fee increase received final approval this month after a public comment period Aug. 15 through Sept. 15, 2018. The park received fewer than 10 comments, of which most were in support of the fee increase. The last time the fee was raised was in 2011,” monument officials said in a press release.
Superintendent Ken Mabery shared, “It is important that we balance the need for additional funding to support park visitors while ensuring that our site remains affordable and accessible to everyone.”
Federal law requires that recreational fees charged on public lands be used for direct visitor benefits. In recent years, projects funded by recreational fees have included trail work on Old Gordon Trail, new railings at overlooks and stabilization work on Liberty Cap Trail. In 2019, planned projects include continued work on Liberty Cap Trail, upgrading campground restrooms and replacement of wooden fencing in parking areas.
Entrances fees are not charged to persons under 16 years of age or to holders of Access, Military and 4th Grade passes. Prices for the Interagency Annual ($80) and Senior (Annual $20 - Lifetime $80) passes will not change and those passes will still be available for purchase at the park. Annual Park Passes for the monument remain $40 until 2020. Commercial fees are set at a national level and were not changed.
At Zion National Park, a mandatory shuttle service was in effect from Dec. 22-31. Shuttle service was also provided in the Town of Springdale to help visitors make connections within the park and town, reducing vehicular traffic. Shuttle operation was expected to help relieve parking and traffic congestion experienced in Zion Canyon during the busy holiday season in recent years. The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive within the park was closed to private vehicles and accessible via the shuttle system.