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Utah National Park entrance fees could more than double

27 October 2017

Denali National Park spokeswoman Katherine Belcher said under the proposal the Denali entry fee would jump threefold.

- A new proposal could increase the gate fee to Rocky Mountain National Park to $70 next year during peak season.

The higher cost may keep some visitors away, but it's not clear how the new fee increases will affect overall park attendance.

Along with Glacier and Yellowstone, some of the other parks on the list are Grand Teton, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Zion and Rocky Mountain.

A public comment period on the proposal starts Tuesday and goes until November 23.

According to park service officials, 80 percent of fees stay in the originating parks, with leftover money going into a shared pot for parks that don't charge entrance fees. That backlog accounts for projects across the National Park Service, which operates 59 national parks throughout the country - among hundreds of other sites - and nine in California alone, more than in any other state.

The 17 parks that will be affected by the price hike have averaged almost a 20 percent increase in recreational visits between the periods of 2007-2011 and 2012-2016, per data from the NPS.

Secretary Zinke's extreme price hike will make America's National Parks unaffordable for millions of American families.

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The $70 fee is part of a rate structure that would also charge $50 per motorcycle and $30 per person on bike or foot.

Overall, there are 59 sites that included "National Park" in their name.

The admission fee to visit some of America's most popular national parks could skyrocket to $70 as officials look for ways to shore up funding to fix billions of dollars in aging infrastructure. Private vehicle fees would jump to $70, from the current fee of $25 to $30.

Khan's family visits places like Yosemite and Sequoia almost ten times a year, she says a fee hike could change that.

The park service said the fee increase, which would be applied during the parks' five busiest months, is necessary to address a backlog of maintenance and infrastructure projects. Annual park passes to get into Utah's parks will remain $80 for the time being.

"I know our town can't support all the people who want to lodge here during the peak season", McDonald said. The public can submit comments here. Arches and Canyonlands national parks cost $25 per vehicle, $15 per motorcycle and $10 per individual. "That is a 34 percent increase over the $200 million collected in Fiscal Year 2016".

"We are always open to peoples' ideas on how we can take care of the resources - the infrastructure as well as the parks themselves - to better serve the visitors", Olson said.

"If people are priced out of that market, how long will that desire and dedication to preserving national parks be in the ethos of the American people?"

Utah National Park entrance fees could more than double