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Mammoth Hot Springs at sunrise

Yellowstone Fee Hikes on Tap for 2015

Visitors to America’s oldest national park will see Yellowstone fee hikes starting on June 1, as an increase in entrance charges will fund important resource protection and visitor facility projects within the park, according to the National Park Service.

“We use our entrance fees to complete critical projects that benefit park visitors and our natural resources,” said Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk. “Eighty percent of the revenue we collect stays right here in Yellowstone and funds projects including road repairs, campground upgrades, rehabilitation of park structures, accessibility improvements for people with disabilities, radio and utility systems improvements, native fish restoration and aquatic invasive species mitigation.”

Fee hikes are never popular, and with room prices at Yellowstone lodging rising annually, it’s getting to be more and more expensive to visit the Park. Still, NPS officials estimate that the new entrance fees will generate $11 million of revenue per year, approximately $3 million greater than current entrance fee revenue. Here is the new fee structure:

  • Vehicles: The entrance fee will be $30 per vehicle to visit Yellowstone National Park for 1-7 days. Grand Teton National Park will have a separate pass for $30. People visiting both parks can save $10 by purchasing a $50 two-park vehicle pass, also valid for 1-7 days.
  • Motorcycles: Motorcycles can enter Yellowstone for $25 for 1-7 days or both parks for $40.
  • Individuals: Per person fees will be $15 for Yellowstone or $20 for both parks.
  • Annual Passes: Yellowstone’s annual pass will be $60. This pass offers visitors in the local area an option that is less expensive than the $80 Interagency Pass. The Interagency Pass rates will remain the same: Annual ($80) and Senior ($10). Military passes and Access passes (for people with permanent disabilities) will remain free.

The last entrance fee increase in Yellowstone National Park occurred in 2006 when fees were raised from $20 to $25 for private vehicles. Since then, visitation numbers have steadily increased.

Park managers proposed a new structure for entrance fees and reached out to stakeholders through a public comment period in November and December 2014. The park solicited comments via mail and online, held meetings in Cody, WY, Jackson, WY, and Bozeman, MT, and held conference calls with Congressional Delegation staff, county commissioners, concessionaires, and commercial use authorization holders. The 2014 proposal included a 1-3-day pass that was eliminated based on public comment.

RELATED STORIES: Comment Period Extended for Yellowstone Fee Hikes; Weigh in on Proposed Yellowstone Fee Increases

Image via flickr.com, courtesy National Park Service by Jim Peaco: Sunrise over Mt. Everts at Main Terrace in Mammoth Hot Springs.

 

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