Would you pay $70 to enter a National Park?

The National Park Service is proposing to raise entry fees to $70 in some of America’s most popular National Parks. The increased fees, the park says, would help pay for badly needed infrastructure improvements such as roads, bridges, campgrounds, waterlines, bathrooms and other visitor services.

Would you play $70 to see Old Faithful erupt?

The new fees would apply to private vehicles in peak season, jumping from current rates of $25 to $30. The cost of an annual pass would remain at $80.

Parks where $70 would be charged would be: Acadia, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Denali, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Olympic, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain, Shenandoah and Joshua Tree.

What do you think? If you did not have an annual pass, would you pay $70 to visit a National Park?

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44 Thoughts to “Would you pay $70 to enter a National Park?”

  1. bruce

    What about state park fees I’ll Wisconsin Mich gouge out of states we now seek private campground and avoid the state

  2. Gary

    $70 for a 7 day? pass per car is very reasonable compared to $124 per day per person for Disneyland. Annual pass , if it stays at $80 is the best buy as many of the premium parks close together which really reduces the price per park per day

  3. Jim

    They spend billions on illegals and to other countries, keep some of that money where it belongs, in AMERICA for Americans.

  4. R. Cranium

    $10 for an annual pass to the National Parks? Maybe before the prices were raised in August. National Park Senior Passes (over 62 yrs old) are now $80. Wake up CajunRvers to the real world of the present Federal government cutting the Park Service budget and passing it on to the average american. The basic Rob Peter to Pay Paul Theory. You might not be effected by this if you already have a senior pass, but your children and grandchildren will!

    1. Steve

      So…..you want open and unfettered access to all parks at all times? Are you prepared for the damage that this will cause?

      This is not about revenue–it is a smart way to smooth out the demand curve by incentivizing people who are able to visit during less busy periods–just like hotels, airlines, theme parks, and any other smart businesses that have peaks and valleys of demand do. A nice side benefit is that it will increase revenue to allow for needed improvements.

  5. Darrel

    Annual pass price will not increase, so no issue for most families.

    And older many RVers already have a lifetime pass.

  6. Norman Powers

    I have a senior pass, but would still pay some more if I could find a parking space in a lot of the parks. Usually, if there are RV spots, they are full of cars. Last year drove around Yellowstone several times before I just parked illegally. I guess there weren’t enough rangers because no one said anything.

  7. Micheal Whelan

    I did not find any place to vote. To answer the question of would I pay $70 to visit a national park that I already pay taxes to support…. to be kind, Hell NO. I do understand an entrance fee but one that is reasonable. Retiree and low income people cannot afford Disney Land fee’s. Then again I have paid that much for Disney but I don’t support them with my tax dollars.

    1. RV Staff

      Sorry, Michael. Under the article, and above where you would leave a comment, there is a list with four options. Just click on one of those options and you will immediately see the results of the poll up to that point. —Diane at RVtravel.com

  8. Pat

    We have the senior pass, I would be willing to pay an additional $10.00 – $15.00 to visit the park. Never could understand why we should get in for free. We have used and enjoyed the perk, but would gladly pay a few $$ to get in.

    1. Ron Hough

      I agree with Pat. We pay $30 for an annual pass to use all of our own state parks. The National Parks are treasures that need and deserve a bit more financial support from those of us who visit them.

  9. Jerry X Shea

    I agree with most of the folks comments. I am not going to drive 1, 2 or 3,000 miles to “See the USA” and not pay to get into a park. I also agree that the park system should work on a “break even budget.” Not as a money maker for the government. Hear that sound? It is Teddy Roosevelt turning in his grave.

  10. Moaboy

    Readers should call their Member of Congress and US Senator and urge them to reject the large cuts proposed to the National Park Service budget. (Google for the number all M of C numbers r 202-225-???? All Senate numbers r 202-224- ????.)
    Some moderate increase in fees, along with a budget at the current level would help make progress in the $11 billion back log of work that needs to be done at the parks.
    please ACT -ur voice matters as the squeaky wheel gets the grease!

  11. D Mason

    OUR national parks were set aside for the enjoyment of the people, as well as to conserve them for future generations. Raising entrance fees this much puts them out of reach for many people, creating an “exclusivity” that should not exist. Our national parks were never intended to make money; Congress needs to provide better funding levels. Budgets have been shrinking as fixed costs have continued to increase. If fees go up too much visitation will drop and the few holes won’t provide the desired income increase.

    1. Steve

      What is the problem with having the people who use the national parks pay for them? They should not be profit centers, but funding levels should be based on what they bring in. Taxpayers should not be subsidizing day-to-day operations. And….by only putting these increases on peak periods, it helps shift the demand a bit for those who have that flexibility, so that it helps mitigate the damage caused by overcrowding. Win-win…..

    2. Michael McCracken

      I agree with Mason. I am a senior living my dream of traveling this country in a motorhome. I worked hard all my adult live. I paid my fair share of taxes to support this country and retired on a modest income. I appreciate that seniors are allowed to purchase a life time pass to enjoy our national parks. They are Intitled to this benefit. I would not be willing to pay any additional fees.

  12. CajunRVers

    I doubt if many folks only go one day to one of these parks during the summer, just buy the annual pass to all for only $10 more. That’s still a bargain compared to what one would pay for a family to attend a sporting or concert events. We pay more than that for season tickets to see local high school football.

  13. Wayne

    Yes,the budget is expected to be cut for Parks Service and the raising of the pass to $80.00 and entrance for others at 70.00 does not equal new projects in the park. They won’t have the money to do the projects . This doesn’t balance out. Might as well just keep the old fares of 30.00 or whatever the daily fees were., I have the Senior pass from many years ago, a very valuable card. Glad I got it when I did. I use it . Have a good trip ,make it safe.

  14. Chris

    I think the proposed $70 entrance fee is for a seven-day pass. Since many people don’t stay for the full seven days, the NPS could offer single-day passes for $10 or three-day passes for $30. This would still keep the parks affordable for the those that only visit for a few days or a weekend.
    It would obviously reduce the amount of money raised which might require the fee to go up slightly.
    I think the next move for the NPS will be to propose raising the annual pass to $150+/-. That would still be a bargain in my mind.

    1. Chris Potter

      Most of the National Parks / National Monuments have, at least in the recent past, given out only passes that were good for 7 days. There is almost always no discount for people who are just visiting for one day. They are fully aware that most people are only going to stay for one day. Somewhere, I remember reading that the average stay for visitors at a National Park is something like 2 hours.

      The 7-day rate is basically a “backpacker’s discount” for the people who are going to be in the park for several days, hiking or doing other outdoor things. I doubt they will ever offer a one-day rate, at least not at 1/7 of the 7 day rate – they would lose too much money on the majority of people who are going to be there for only one day.

  15. Mary

    Our ridiculously high taxes aren’t enough???!! There is so much government waste and spending. Why punish us more?

  16. Karen and Jim, RET/DAV/USA

    some years ago we heard foreign (Chinese) entities had bought into ownership/management/of Yellowstone. On the chance that is true, we wouldn’t go back anyway much less pay more.

  17. Desert Beacon

    I think it’s a shame that for so long Congress has underfunded the national park system such that the deferred maintenance is out of control. Raising the entry fees as has been proposed will do little to help with the backlog but may keep low-income families from enjoying our national treasures.

  18. K Hart

    I wouldn’t mind paying the new, higher fee for the pass. It’s worth the investment. However, I would like to see a reasonably priced annual pass for young families. The new, high fees will do nothing but keep families with young children out of the parks – the very category of people we should be attracting to them.

  19. Pat

    Seems like it makes the annual pass an even better idea and the senior lifetime pass the best deal. I was hoping that I could have a friend, ( who is over 62 and does not travel) buy the senior pass for us. But, alas you must provide ID to use the pass…rats!!

    1. Rosemary

      Hubby got annual pass a number of years ago at Sagamore Hill. First use out of state was San Marcos National Monument Fort in St. Augustine. Ranger stopped us AND MADE HIM SHOW ID!! He did not believe Hubby was old enough to have a pass. Boy did that make my husband’s day! ????????

      1. Leonard Szymkowiak

        How is the Ranger supposed to know he is who he says he is ?Le

  20. Phil Johnson

    I thought that National Parks belonged to the American people and were our to use for free? Why not fund them with the trillions we give foreign countries who hate our guts and slit our throats?

  21. Denny Wagaman

    Sure I would pay that even if I didn’t have a senior pass. That’s a price of a good meal for two (or less). A NP is worth it don’t you agree? Have you taken your grand kids to a movie including pop corn and whatever? $70 is about what it costs us for 4 adults and 4 kids!

  22. Mac

    The government is going to make massive cuts in the National Parks budgets, thus users (who also pay through their taxes) will be paying more, and if you read the articles about this the cuts will outweigh the increases, so no improvements will be made.

  23. Tom

    Senior pass, America The Beautiful Pass and whatever they call the new one is a bargain, even at $80. Half price at many Federal parks is a deal. Most are good deals even at full price. I’ve had one as soon as I turned 62.
    $70 per vehicle is a bit steep. But, if used as promised, makes it worth while. How well do you trust American politicians?

  24. Bill T.

    Can the NPS guarantee the increase in fees will actually be used for repairs? Or is this a way for the NPS to avoid a public/private partnership?.

  25. Onwego

    Want to go to Yellowstone next July, but don’t want to buy an annual pass? Save $9.00 per month until then. Want to buy a lifetime Senior Pass at a Yellowstone gate? Save $11.00. Can’t do that? Rubbish. (What did we pay for that 5th wheel again?) Of course we can. Especially if we devote as much energy to creative and painless frugality as we seem to be to victim-preening. Set an example for the grandkids. Quit whining. Save up. Help the parks. You’ll feel great. They’ll be impressed. Carry on.

  26. Line (Lyne)

    Definitely not ! Annual parks pass yes.

  27. Marilyn

    Fine for rich people not for the less rich. A family of 6 vs a couple of two doesn’t seem fair. Annual pass is fine but most families probably only go to one park a year.

  28. Mary B.

    Are they raising the cost of the Senior Pass too…..It’s hard enough for us seniors to make ends meet. Will they still honor the ones we have paid for already?

    1. Darrel

      Senior pass already went up from $10 to $80. Older senior passes grandfathered in.

  29. sequoyausa

    If you’re over 62 you can get a lifetime senior pass for $80!! If I didn’t qualify for that I would buy the annual pass…….

    1. Thomas J Metz

      Yeah well those life time passes used to be free till this year

      1. Bonnie Cuddihy

        No, they were not free but a very nominal cost. They recently raised the price for the Senior Lifetime Pass but $80 is still a bargain for what you receive.

        1. Monty

          I paid $10.00 for mine. $80.00 is still a good deal.

  30. Nolan Wright

    If I were planning on more than one park I would buy the annual pass at $80. I would never pay $70 for any one park.

  31. Bill

    In my experience I have found Most of the most popular NPs are visited by OUT of COUNTRY guest. It does make it hard for US visitors to get reservations.
    I do think this keeps the Parks Full.
    I would pay $70.00 for a LIFETIME PASS.

  32. Rod & Lisa

    I will buy the annual pass for $80 and visit lots of parks some multiple times.

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