Liberty Cap in Yosemite National Park
Sierra Sun Times file photo
April 18, 2018 - The National Park Service (NPS) announced today that Yosemite National Park will modify its entrance fees beginning June 2018 to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance needs that enhance the visitor experience. Effective June 2018 the park entrance fee will be $35 per vehicle or $20 per motorcycle. An annual park pass will cost $70.
The NPS last October proposed a plan to adopt seasonal pricing at Yosemite and 16 other national parks to raise additional revenue for infrastructure and maintenance needs. The fee structure announced today addresses many concerns and ideas provided by the public on how best to address fee revenue for parks.
Revenue from entrance fees remains in the National Park Service and helps ensure a quality experience for all who visit. Here in Yosemite National Park, 80 percent of entrance fees stay in the park and are devoted to spending that supports the visitor. We share the other 20 percent of entry fee income with other national parks for their projects.
“Your recreation fee dollars support critical programs and services that directly benefit visitors to Yosemite National Park,” stated Yosemite Superintendent Michael Reynolds. “Visitors to Yosemite deserve to experience world class campgrounds and other facilities in a world class park. This fee increase will help the park address many important maintenance and infrastructure needs.”
The additional revenue from entrance fees at Yosemite National Park will help the park update aging restrooms and water treatment plants, support restoration needs at Bridalveil Fall, address maintenance needs in the Upper and Lower Pines Campgrounds, improve hiking trails, and improve visitor parking areas.
National parks have experienced record breaking visitation, with more than 1.5 billion visitors in the last five years. Throughout the country, the combination of aging infrastructure and increased visitation affects park roads, bridges, buildings, campgrounds, water systems, bathrooms, and other facilities. Maintenance deferred on these facilities amounts to $11.6 billion nationwide backlog.
Entrance fees collected by the National Park Service totaled $199.9 million in Fiscal Year 2016. The NPS estimates that once fully implemented, the new fee structure will increase annual entrance fee revenue by about $60 million.
Yosemite National Park has had an entrance fee since 1913. The current rate of $30 per vehicle or $20 per motorcycle has been in effect since 2015. The park is one of 117 in the National Park System that charges an entrance fee. The remaining 300 sites are free to enter.
The price of the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass and Lifetime Senior Pass will remain $80.
The complete fee schedule will change according to the following: