Admission Fees for 117 National Parks Are About to Rise

hiking
Photo by sunsinger / Shutterstock.com

Good news for the summer travel season: Although fees at national parks are rising, you won’t have to pay $70 to visit the likes of the Grand Canyon or Yosemite.

The National Park Service has nixed its plan to roughly double admission prices at 17 popular parks during peak visitation times. In response to public comments about that proposal, the federal agency recently announced that it has instead opted for smaller price hikes at 117 sites.

In most cases, daily and weekly entrance fees will rise by no more than $5 under the new fee schedule. The cost of park-specific annual passes will rise by no more than $10.

At many of the 117 affected parks, these increases take effect June 1. Some parks will raise their fees incrementally, with the new fees taking effect by Jan. 1, 2020.

A list of all affected parks, and the amount and effective date of their fee increases, can be found on the park service’s “Entrance Fees by Park” webpage.

Most parks are unaffected

The park service system comprises 417 sites, ranging from national battlefields to national seashores. Admission to 300 of these sites is free and will continue to be free. They are unaffected by the new fee schedule for the other 117 destinations.

Additionally, the cost of an America the Beautiful annual pass — which is valid at some 2,000 sites managed by various federal agencies — will continue to be $80. That will also remain the cost of a lifetime senior pass — a steal available to folks age 62 and older.

Your dollars at work

When the park service proposed the steep fee hikes in October, it cited aging infrastructure and a backlog of maintenance projects. That’s also behind the new fee schedule involving small increases.

The agency explains:

“The funds will be used for projects and activities to improve the experience for visitors who continue to visit parks at unprecedented levels. Increased attendance at parks, 1.5 billion visits in the last five years, means aging park facilities incurring further wear and tear.”

Getting caught up on the park service’s system-wide maintenance backlog would currently cost $11.6 billion, according to the agency.

Examples of the types of projects that are part of that backlog include:

  • Redesign of a new accessible visitor center desk at James A. Garfield National Historic Site (Ohio)
  • Construction of accessible parking and path to a restroom in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (Arizona)
  • Repair of historic stone steps, coping wall and gravel tread on the popular Beech Cliff Loop Trail in Acadia National Park (Maine)
  • Replacement of the 162-foot Elkwallow Trail Bridge in Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)

What’s your take on this news? Sound off below or on Facebook.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
Watch This: Organize Your Home With Dollar Tree Products
Watch This: Organize Your Home With Dollar Tree Products

Here’s how to organize every corner of your home using only items from a dollar store.

9 Affordable Products That Could Save Your Life
9 Affordable Products That Could Save Your Life

Some of these products you may already own. Others you’ll want to order from Amazon ASAP.

7 Social Security Blunders That Can Ruin Your Retirement
7 Social Security Blunders That Can Ruin Your Retirement

Making even one of these mistakes can easily cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

The 5 Worst Home Upgrades for the Money
The 5 Worst Home Upgrades for the Money

These home improvement projects basically never pay off.

7 Reasons You Should Not Pay Off a Mortgage Before Retirement
7 Reasons You Should Not Pay Off a Mortgage Before Retirement

Here’s why it often makes financial sense to carry a mortgage into retirement.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?

Two factors determine how much money is coming to you.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Dollar stores have great bargains on these familiar purchases. Yes, even pregnancy tests.

13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon
13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon

Every household should have these products on hand. Buying them in bulk on Amazon saves you cash.

6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman

Beware: The self-proclaimed personal finance expert has a track record that suggests more sizzle than steak.

This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked
This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked

The Social Security Administration is not helping certain people get money to which they are entitled, a report says.

Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia
Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia

These vaccines may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 40%.

8 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
8 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline
9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline

Forget expensive specialty products. Good ol’ petroleum jelly can address many common annoyances.

16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

Is a Second Stimulus Check Still Coming?
Is a Second Stimulus Check Still Coming?

The status of another round of direct payments to taxpayers is a mix of good and bad news.

41 Things You Should Never Buy
41 Things You Should Never Buy

Some purchases are just plain dumb. Give yourself — and your budget — a break. Don’t spend money on this stuff.

9 Indestructible Products That Are Worth the Price
9 Indestructible Products That Are Worth the Price

If you’re willing to pay a little more for these products, you may never have to shop for another again.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

8 Ways to Slash Your Internet Bill
8 Ways to Slash Your Internet Bill

No matter what price you are paying for internet service, taking these simple steps can lower it.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.