Overcrowding has become a growing issue at popular destinations around the world. In recent years, the U.S. national parks have experienced a record-breaking number of visitors: More than 1.5 billion people have visited the country’s system of 417 national parks within the past five years alone, according to the National Park Service’s website.
To address this increased visitation, which the NPS says—in tandem with aging infrastructure—has “put a strain on park roads, bridges, campgrounds, and other visitor services,” the park service recently announced plans to increase the entrance price for most “fee-collecting national parks” in the United States.
Starting this summer, more than 100 U.S. national parks that already charge entrance fees—from Maine’s Acadia National Park to Montana’s Glacier National Park—will increase their prices by $3, $5, or $10. According to a statement from the NPS, changes to park-specific annual passes and vehicle entry fees will vary across parks. A standardized entrance fee structure composes four groups based on park size and type.
The @NatlParkService announces a modest increase in entrance fees at 117 national parks. The revenue from the fees will help improve the visitor experience and address park infrastructure. More than two-thirds of national parks will remain free to enter. https://t.co/dkxRNohxRN pic.twitter.com/KnHAZm1KPg— NationalParkService (@NatlParkService) April 12, 2018
In some parks, increased entrance fees will be implemented as soon as June 1, 2018. Other updated fees will go into effect by 2019 or 2020. The NPS states that 80 percent of the revenue collected from the increased entrance fees will go directly toward the upkeep and maintenance of the park in which the money was collected. The remaining 20 percent will fund projects in other national parks.
See a complete list of U.S. national park entrance fee changes on the National Parks website..