Rocky Mountain National Park Fees to Increase

It's the park's first fee increase in eight years.
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It's the park's first fee increase in eight years.

Rocky Mountain National Park recently announced it will join the trend of national parks increasing entrance fees.

The changes in price will become effective Oct. 1, 2015, reports the Coloradoan.

Among the increased fees is a new “Day Use Pass” which will cost $20. A seven-day pass will increase from $20 to $30 and the annual pass will rise to $50 from $40. Additionally, in 2016 campground fees will increase to $26 a night from $20 and by 2017 an annual pass will be priced at $60.

“We are committed to keeping Rocky Mountain National Park affordable and want to provide visitors with the best possible experience,” said park superintendent, Vaughn Baker, in a news release. “We feel this modest fee increase is still an incredible value when considering other family and recreational experiences one can enjoy. Plus, 80 percent of those funds stay right here in Rocky to benefit visitors. As we celebrate Rocky's Centennial, these funds will be critical as we move forward into the next one hundred years."

Rocky Mountain National Park is not the first park to increase entrance fees. Earlier this May, Yellowstone announced an increase in fees that will become effective June 1, 2015.

This is the first time in eight years national parks were given the right to propose fee increases. Rocky Mountain National Park and Yellowstone are just two out of 133 parks that could see an increase in prices. Some other well-known parks include Grand Canyon National Park, Yosemite, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The memo sent to the parks by the National Park Service on Aug. 19, 2014, instructed the parks to first engage their publics to “gauge support for possible fee changes to entrance, expanded amenity, and special recreation permit fees authorized by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.”

If there was significant public controversy over the changes, the parks were instructed to not implement new fees, stagger the changes over a period of three years, or to just wait until 2016 or 2017 before attempting to make changes.

The memo states that the purpose of the fees is “to provide the best possible experience to our visitors.”

Each park has been instructed to identify areas within itself that can be enhanced and to use the additional funds to improve facilities and services to prepare for the centennial anniversary in 2016.

Read More: The Coloradoan