Up until now, the entrance fee has been $30 per vehicle. Starting next year, the National Park Service plans to raise the price to $70 per vehicle.
Think that's overpriced? We do, too. But it's not too late to tell the National Park Service what you think! Through November 23, they're accepting public comment on the entrance fee issue, and we've got all the details on how you can weigh in!
"Following the public comment period, feedback will help determine where, or if, peak season fee rates will be implemented," the National Park Service stated.
Rocky Mountain National Park isn't the only national park that will be affected by the proposed price hike. The 17 biggest revenue parks are all on the list, including Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Grand Canyon, Zion, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, and Glacier.
Specifically, the entrance fee increase would only apply during peak season (June to October) and would be $70 per private vehicle, $50 per motorcycle, and $30 per person. The current prices ($30/vehicle, $25/motorcycle, $15/person) would remain in place the rest of the year. But let's be real for a minute ... The park is only open weather-permitting, so a great deal of the roads may be closed November through May anyway. So basically, when you want to show off Colorado's gorgeous peaks to your visiting out-of-state family with a drive up Trail Ridge Road, you'd never be able to do it for less than $70.
So why are they doing this? The National Park Service claims that the extra funds will go toward park maintenance, including roads, bridges, campgrounds, waterlines, bathrooms, and other visitor services. They say 80 percent of the funds would stay within the park where they're collected while the other 20 percent would go to maintaining other national parks around the country (only 118 of our 417 national park sites charge an entrance fee).
We understand the need to charge an entrance fee. But increasing it by more than double its current rate? That's just pure deprivation of our basic rights as Coloradans and tax payers, yes? The difference between the current entrance fee and proposed entrance fee would very likely prevent a large chunk of visitors from being able to enjoy the beloved treasure in Denver's backyard.
To tell the National Park Service what you think, and view the details of the proposal, visit their website and offer your comments until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, November, 23 (consequentially, Thanksgiving Day). And be sure to share with your friends and family, so they can weigh in, too!