National Park Service to limit fee-free days in 2018


For starters? The National Park Service revealed in October that visitor fees at its most popular parks will more than double by May 2018 at the 118 parks and monuments (of 417 total parks) that charge for entry.

Free days during the coming year are January 15 for Martin Luther King Jr.

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The sharp decrease in the number of fee-free days comes as the National Park Service faces a maintenance backlog of more than $11 billion. Rocky is one of 17 parks included in the proposal, which would take effect for most parks this spring.

The announcement represents a marked reduction in fee-free days at national parks.

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Visiting the USA national parks will become more, well, complicated next year. 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.

The U.S. National Park Service held a public comment period from August 29 to September 28 and sent those comments to the National Park Regional Office. "America's parks must remain affordable for working families". Discounted or free passes are available for senior citizens, current members of the military, families of fourth-grade students and disabled citizens.

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The entry fee hike is meant to address unmet park maintenance and repairs, otherwise known as deferred maintenance. Put another way? The generosity sure has dwindled since the NPS's 100th birthday in 2016, when we had a whole 16 days of free park access.