Mount Rainier National Park is planning to raise entrance fees, as are other national parks around the country, as soon as 2015.
Entrance fees at Rainier would increase to $25 for a vehicle pass good for seven days, up from the current $15, park officials said Tuesday. Olympic National Park has proposed the same increase to a $25 entrance fee. There is no one-day vehicle pass available at either park, but there are significantly reduced entrance fees for the military, seniors, and people with disabilities. And, since the pass covers a vehicle, you can take a car full of people into the park for one entrance fee.
Camping fees at Rainier also would go up, to $20 per night for any park campsite. Current rates run from $12 to $15 per night which the park said are lower than at other nearby public and private campsites outside of Mount Rainier. (See all the proposed Rainier fee increases below plus details on how the public can give the park comments. )
So far, in a Seattle Times poll linked to the Olympic National Park fee increase, Times readers seem to be taking the proposed increases in stride. The results from more than 600 replies:
— “They’re OK. National parks need the money.” That received 42.05 percent of the votes (254 votes)
— ” Fees are high enough. They should stay the same.” 21.85 percent (132 votes)
— “There shouldn’t be any fees. The feds should fund parks.” 36.09 percent (218 votes)
Here’s part of the statement issued by Mount Rainier about the fee increase:
“With few exceptions, national parks across the United States have not increased entrance fees since 2006. However, in order to provide funding necessary for key projects and programs, all 131 fee-collecting national park sites are now evaluating fee increases. The current National Park Service (NPS) fee program allows Mount Rainier to retain up to 80 percent of fees collected in the park. This revenue makes it possible for the park to provide many essential services, including repair and maintenance of visitor facilities, capital improvements, resource protection, and amenities such as the proposed online backcountry reservation system, in addition to supporting park entrance staff, maps, and brochures for visitors.”
The public can comment on Rainier’s proposed fee increases either online through the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment website by Dec 31. Or send comments by regular mail to: Superintendent, Mount Rainier National Park, 55210 238th Ave. East, Ashford, WA 98304.
|FEE TYPE||CURRENT FEE (2014)||PROPOSED FEE (2015)|
|Mount Rainier NP annual pass
Grants unlimited entry for one year to pass owner and passengers in same car
|Mount Rainier single vehicle fee
Grants unlimited entry for one vehicle and passengers for seven consecutive days
|Mount Rainier “per person” fee
Walk-up or single bicycle fee.Grants unlimited entry for seven consecutive days
|Mount Rainier motorcycle fee
Grants unlimited entry for one motorcycle and passenger for seven consecutive days
|Campground fees (per site, nightly)||$12-$15||$20|