November 2, 2017 2:40 pm

Fees to enter 17 U.S. national parks could double or triple in 2018

Yosemite National Park is among the 17 national parks in the U.S. that may get an entrance fee hike.

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Canadian travellers to the United States take note – entrance fees into some of your favourite U.S. national parks could more than double and in some cases even triple for 17 parks across the country.

The National Park Service (NPS) said Sunday that it’s considering the increase in fees to be applied to its most popular parks during peak visiting season – and the funds put towards repairing park infrastructure.

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(Peak season for each park would be defined as its busiest five-month period, NPS states).

“The infrastructure of our national parks is aging and in need of renovation and restoration,” U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said in a press release. “Targeted fee increases at some of our most-visited parks will help ensure that they are protected and preserved in perpetuity and that visitors enjoy a world-class experience that mirrors the amazing destinations they are visiting.”

There are 417 national parks across the U.S. and only 118 currently charge an entrance fee.

According to Condé Nast Traveler, non-commercial vehicles are charged between $25 and $30, and $10 to $15 if they’re on bike or foot. That would increase to $60 for non-commercial vehicles and $30 per person on bike or foot.

Affected parks include:

  • Arches National Park in Utah
  • Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah
  • Canyonlands National Park in Utah
  • Denali National Park in Arkansas
  • Glacier National Park in Montana
  • Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona
  • Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming
  • Olympic National Park in Washington
  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park in California
  • Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho
  • Yosemite National Park in California
  • Zion National Park in Utah
  • Acadia National Park in Maine
  • Mount Rainier National Park in Washington
  • Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado
  • Shenandoah National Park in Virginia
  • Joshua Tree National Park in California

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If the decision to up prices is implemented, the NPS estimate to generate an extra $70 million per year. That’s a 34 per cent increase over the $200 million collected in 2016, NPS said. As per law, 80 per cent of entrance fees remains in the park where it is collected and the other 20 per cent is spent on projects in other national parks.

The decision will be made following public consultations taking place until Nov. 23 on the NPS website.

The U.S. remains the top country Canadians travel to year-round, Statistics Canada reports.

Washington state, which is home to two national parks on the list, is the third most visited states by Canadians according to Statistics Canada. This is followed by California in fourth place (with two parks on the list), Arizona in seventh place (with one park on the list), Maine in ninth place (with one park on the list), Montana in 13th place (with two parks on the list) and Virginia in 15th place (with one park on the list).

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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