Two of the West’s favorite national parks are considering increased admission prices in an effort to better handle their never-ending stream of visitors. On Monday, officials at Yosemite National Park outlined a proposed increase in a press release on the park’s website. The price of single-vehicle admission for seven days would increase from $20 to $30, and the park’s annual pass would increase from $40 to $60.
Yosemite officials pointed out that admissions have remained the same since 1997, and since then, the purchasing power of $20 has decreased by nearly $10, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Park representatives wrote that they would dedicate the increased revenue to improvements in resource protection, as well as to rehabilitation, repair, and maintenance of Yosemite’s visitor service buildings and transportation services.
Meanwhile, a similar set of changes at Rocky Mountain National Park may be underway. In addition to introducing a $20 single-day pass, a press release on Rocky Mountain NP’s website announced an increase in the weekly pass from $20 to $30. Like Yosemite, Rocky Mountain is proposing a price increase for its annual park pass to $50 and eventually to $60 by 2017. Campground fees, which park officials have compared to fees for similar services in nearby campgrounds, may also increase from $20 to $26 per night in 2016.
“We are committed to keeping Rocky Mountain National Park affordable and we also want to provide visitors with the best possible experience,” park superintendent Vaughn Baker said in a statement. “We feel that our proposed fee changes are still an incredible value when considering other family and recreational experiences one can enjoy.”
Yosemite’s public engagement period extends through November 20, and comments on the price increase at Rocky Mountain will be accepted until December 1. Visitors are encouraged to offer their feedback on the proposed changes by emailing Yosemite and Rocky Mountain directly.