Be prepared to pay a lot more next year to enjoy major national parks in Washington state and around the country.
Following the lead of the National Park Service, both Olympic National Park and Mount Rainier National Park are proposing to charge $25 for a seven-day vehicle-entrance pass, up from the current $15, said Olympic spokeswoman Barbara Maynes. There is no one-day vehicle pass, but the fee covers all passengers in a car.
Other major national parks such as Bryce, Zion and Yosemite could charge $30 for the seven-day vehicle pass under the park service proposals.
There are ways to beat the higher fees. All national parks have fee-free days (Olympic National Park will have nine free days in 2015). And there are Senior, Access and Military passes that give free entrance to national parks nationwide.
“We are committed to providing all visitors with the best possible experience, while still providing affordable options to enjoy the park,” said a statement from Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. “The money from camping and entrance fees is used to improve visitor facilities like water and wastewater systems, campgrounds, roads, trails and visitor centers.”
Here are the proposed changes for Olympic National Park, which is seeking comments from the public online about the increases.
|Vehicle (7 days; all park entrances)||$15||$25|
|Motorcycle (7 days; all park entrances)||$5||$20|
|Person (7 days; all park entrances; 16 & older only)||$5||$12|
|Annual Pass (good for a year; good for pass holder and vehicle occupants)||$30||$50|
Campground and other fees also would increase at Olympic. The proposed increases:
|Fees vary according to availability of water, advance reservations||$10-$18||$15-$25|
|Overnight Wilderness Use Permits||Current||Proposed|
|Registration Fee (per group)||$5||discontinued|
|Nightly Fee (per person 16 and older only)||$2||$5 in 2015; $7 in 2017|
|Annual Wilderness Pass (per person; $15 for eachadditional household member)||$30||discontinued|
|RV Sewage Dump Fee||$5||$10|
|Ranger Guided Snowshoe Walk||$5 donation||$10/adults$5/youth (6-15 years)|