National park fees to go up, but at a smaller rate than originally proposed

National Park entry fees, including at Alaska’s Denali, are going up, but not as much as earlier proposed.

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Under a Fall 2017 Interior Department proposal, the fees at Denali and 16 popular parks in the Lower 48, would have jumped dramatically, increasing $20 at Denali, but citing public opposition, interior last week announced a more modest hike for all parks.

”They took all the comments into consideration and opted to go with a $5 across-the-board board fee increase,” Denali National Park spokeswoman Katherine Belcher said.

Belcher says that means Denali’s entrance fee will bump from $10 to $15, beginning in May of next year. Season passes will be $45. Individual parks retain eighty percent of entree fee money and the increases at Denali are expected to generate an additional $1.1 million annually. Belcher says that will help address backlogged maintenance.

”We can eliminate the deferred maintenance backlog for non-roads projects in five years with that additional funding,” Belcher said.

Most of Denali’s $54 million maintenance backlog is road related, and will take longer to chip away at. Belcher says 642,000 people visited Denali in 2017, a ten percent increase over 2016, and the 3rd straight year visitation went up.