The cost of getting into about 100 national parks increases on Thursday.
The rates will go up despite the fact that visitation at parks is up, which means bigger crowds, congested traffic and busier visitors’ centers. But more people aren’t translating into a big boost for park budgets. For example, visitation at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is up 20 percent so far this year and Yosemite, Yellowstone and Zion are also seeing double digit increases. The parks are also seeing the strain.
But the extra money from increased entrance fees will be a drop in the bucket. Overall, for example, Rocky Mountain National Park estimates it has nearly $70 million in maintenance needs. Across the country’s national parks there’s an estimated $11.5 billion needed to cover upkeep.
Photo: Steve Mulder/Flickr