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The Cost Of Visiting Joshua Tree National Park Could Nearly Triple

Utah national parks would charge $70 per car under proposed fee hike

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

Tuesday, the National Parks Service announced plans for peak season fee increases, doubling, or even more than doubling the current summertime fees at 17 parks, including Glacier and Yellowstone, according to a press release from the agency. Peak seasons are defined as the five-month period in which the park gets the most visitors.

The increased fees would apply at 17 national parks across the country, including Grand Canyon National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

Visitors to the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion and other national parks would be charged $70 per vehicle, up from the fee of $30 for a weekly pass.

For now, the Park Service is seeking comment on the possible fee increases until November 23.

Each park will continue to keep 80 percent of the entrance fees it brings in, under the terms of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.

"We need to have a vision to look at the future of our parks and take action in order to ensure that our grandkids' grandkids will have the same if not better experience than we have today", Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement.

Admission prices at certain national parks across the country increased in 2015 after a six-year moratorium on fee increases, PBS reported at the time.

Khan says she understands, but thinks a fee increase further discourages low-income people from visiting. The proposed increase per person is from $10 to $30.

The National Park service is considering increasing fees at the nation's most popular parks next summer, including Olympic National Park and Mount Rainier.

This would mean that, during the busiest five months of the year, it would cost $70 per auto to get into the park, $50 for a motorcycle and $30 per person.

Moving forward, Pierno suggested that Congress should help shoulder the maintenance backlog, regarding the billions of dollars that many national parks need in repairs.

"At this funding level, almost 90 percent of parks would reduce their current staffing levels, leading to a reduction in services to the public", officials said in their 2018 budget justifications document. And Joshua Tree National Park's peak season would be implemented as soon as practicable in 2018. They all now pay $10-15 to enter the parks.

While the backlog of maintenance has continued to pile-up for a number of years, increased visitor numbers in the last decade-plus in all national parks has caused NPS and many individual national parks to seek new ways of dealing with the onslaught of visitors.

Jim Tomlin, the president of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, which maintains 101 miles of the trail that runs through the park, hypothesized that the change would simply lead more people to buy the national pass, depriving local parks of revenue.