The National Park Service (NPS) announced today that Yellowstone National Park will modify its entrance fees beginning June 1, 2018 to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance needs that enhance the visitor experience. Effective June 1, the park entrance fee will be $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorcycle. An annual park pass will cost $70.
The NPS last October proposed a plan to adopt seasonal pricing at Yellowstone and 16 other national parks to raise additional revenue for infrastructure and maintenance needs. The fee structure announced today addresses many concerns and ideas provided by the public on how best to address fee revenue for parks.
Revenue from entrance fees remains in the National Park Service and helps ensure a quality experience for all who visit. Here in Yellowstone, 80 percent of entrance fees stay in the park and are devoted to spending that supports the visitor. We share the other 20 percent of entry fee income with other national parks for their projects.
“Yellowstone uses revenues from entrance fees collected to improve visitor facilities,” said Superintendent Dan Wenk. Visitors benefit when park roads, trails, and boardwalks are maintained and provide access to the park’s treasures.”
National parks have experienced record breaking visitation, with more than 1.5 billion visitors in the last five years. Throughout the country, the combination of aging infrastructure and increased visitation affects park roads, bridges, buildings, campgrounds, water systems, bathrooms, and other facilities. Maintenance deferred on these facilities amounts to an $11.6 billion nationwide backlog.
Entrance fees collected by the National Park Service totaled $199.9 million in Fiscal Year 2016. The NPS estimates that once fully implemented, the new fee structure will increase annual entrance fee revenue by about $60 million.
Yellowstone National Park has had an entrance fee since 1916. The current rate of $30 per vehicle or $25 per motorcycle has been in effect since 2015. The park is one of 117 in the National Park System that charges an entrance fee. The remaining 300 sites are free to enter.
The price of the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass and Lifetime Senior Pass will remain $80.
Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks have not yet determined how this new fee structure will affect the combined parks’ seven-day entrance pass.
The National Park Service has a standardized entrance fee structure, composed of four groups based on park size and type. Yellowstone is one of 10 sites in group 4.