YOSEMITE – Yosemite National Park is proposing to increase entrance fees into the park. The single vehicle entrance fee would change from $20 to $30 for a seven day pass.
The park’s annual pass would increase from $40 to $60. The current rate of $10 per individual or motorcycle would increase to $15 for an individual and $25 per motorcycle. Interagency Passes, which are honored at all federally managed land units, are not affected by the proposed fee increase and will remain at $80 for the regular pass, $10 for the Senior Pass and free for the Access and Military passes.
The current park entrance fees have been in place since 1997, when a seven day pass was increased from $5 to $20 per vehicle. According to the U.S. Bureau of labor and Statistics, $20 in 1997 is equivalent to $29.64 in 2014. This fee change will allow Yosemite to maintain consistent revenue while adjusting accordingly for inflation, say park officials.
The additional revenue from the fee increase will be used to enhance visitor services, including repair and maintenance of park facilities, restoration and rehabilitation of visitor service buildings, additional park programs and transportation services, and increase resource protection.
Yosemite National Park is also evaluating current campground rates to determine if camping fees are adequate to sustain campground operations. The current campground rates have been in place since 2006 and range between $5 per night to $20 per night for family sites and $40 per night for group sites.
The park is proposing to raise camping fees, ranging from $6 per night to $24 per night for family sites and $48 per night for group sites. The park will utilize comparable campground rates and public feedback to determine if an adjustment to campground fees is warranted.
A 30-day public engagement period on the proposed fee increase is open Monday, Oct. 20, through Thursday, Nov. 20. Feedback will be accepted via email at: email@example.com and via U.S. Mail at: Superintendent Attention Proposed Fee Increase P.O. Box 577 Yosemite, CA 95389.
The public is also invited to an open house in the Yosemite Valley Auditorium, located behind the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, on Wednesday, Nov. 12, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., which will include public engagement.
The new fees could be implemented in early 2015. However, the implementation schedule may vary based on the results of civic engagement. The park will develop an implementation schedule that supports local communities and interested stakeholders.
The park is a strong economic engine for the region and local communities. Previous fee increases have had no negative effect on visitation levels. This fee increase is part of a larger National Park Service initiative to standardize fees in similar national parks across the country.