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Higher Fees Coming To A Number Of National Park Units


Beginning next year you'll be able to reserve a campsite at Capitol Reef National Park/Kurt Repanshek

A number of National Park System units across the country are planning to start collecting higher fees beginning January 1. Here's a glance at some of them:

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Capitol Reef National Park will see changes to the park entrance fee and the group camp site and to the management of the Fruita developed campground. To support park operations, a fee increase of $5 was approved this month for Capitol Reef's entrance fees. The cost per vehicle will be $15 starting January 1. There are no other entry fee changes at this time. The majority of funds collected from entrance fees and campground operations help fund park projects, improvements, and operations that benefit the visitor experience.

Camping at the 71-site developed Fruita campground is a popular activity at Capitol Reef National Park. "With the campground being remote and first-come, first-served, it can be a challenge to find a site in the busy season," says park staffer Keri Pace. In an effort to allow for advanced trip planning the majority of the campsites will be reservable starting next year.Campers will be able to book reservations for campsites for the 2018 season at starting February 1, 2018. The majority of campsites will be reservable from March 1 to October 31, with a handful of sites remaining first-come, first-served. 

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Georgia/Tennessee

Beginning Monday, January 1, 2018, the National Park Service will increase the entrance fee to the Point Park area of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park from $5 to $7 per person to fund ongoing maintenance and improvement projects within the park. However, the price of an annual pass will remain unchanged at $30. The annual pass entitles the pass holder and three other people to enter Point Park on an unlimited basis for an entire year from purchase. Entrance fees are not charged to persons aged 15 years and younger or to pass holders of the America the Beautiful: The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass series, which includes the Annual Pass, the Senior Pass, the Access Pass, and the Military Pass. These passes may be obtained at the Point Park entrance fee booth in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. All other destinations within the 9,000-acre expanse of the park – such as Cravens House, Ochs Gateway, Signal Point, Sherman Reservation, Orchard Knob, Moccasin Bend, and Chickamauga Battlefield – remain free of any entrance fees.

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Oregon/Washington

On January 1, the entrance fee to the reconstructed Fort Vancouver at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site will increase from $5 to $7 for an individual. This entrance fee would remain valid for reentrance for seven days. The park’s annual pass will remain at $30 in 2018, and will continue to allow admittance of four adults.

This fee increase affects the reconstructed stockade site only. Access to park grounds, trails, roads, and facilities outside of the reconstructed stockade will remain free of charge. Facilities that will remain free of charge to access include the Visitor Center and Pearson Air Museum, and the national park’s green space, including the Parade Ground, Great Meadow, and the waterfront at Vancouver, Washington. In addition, the McLoughlin and Barclay Houses and the park they are situated on at the national park’s McLoughlin House Unit in Oregon City, Oregon, will also remain free.

The entrance fee increase is part of a larger National Park Service initiative to standardize fees in similar national parks across the country. Entrance fees have been collected at Fort Vancouver NHS for more than 20 years.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

On January 2, Carlsbad Caverns National Park will increase its entrance fee from $10 to $12 per person for ages 16 and older, free for ages 15 and under. The entrance fee hasn't been raised since 2012.

“Entrance fees are vital to funding a variety of visitor services, facility improvement projects, and resource protection efforts," said Superintendent Doug Neighbor. “For example, fees funded the current primary elevators modernization project.”

Great Basin National Park Amenity FeeCurrent FeeFee Beginning January 1, 2018
Lehman Caves Tour, Adults (60 Min)$8$9
Lehman Caves Tour, Adults (90 Min)$10$11
Lehman Caves Tour, Youth 5-15 (60 Min)$4$5
Lehman Caves Tour, Youth 5-15 (90 Min)$5$6
First Room Tour$4$5
Wheeler Peak Campground$12$15
Upper Lehman Creek Campground$12$15
Lower Lehman Creek Campground$12$15
Baker Creek Campground$12$15
Grey Cliffs Standard Camping$12$15
Grey Cliffs Group Camping$25$30
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Amenity FeeCurrentAs of January 1, 2018
Park Entrance Pass per Private Vehicle$15$20
Park Entrance Pass per Motorcycle$10$15
Annual Park Entrance Pass$30$40
Per Person Entrance Pass$7$10
Camping-D.H. Day Campground$16$20
Camping-Platte River Campground, Non-Electric$22$26
Camping-Platte River Campground, Electric$27$31
Camping-Platte River Campground, Walk-to$18$22

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