WASHINGTON -- The National Park Service will soon raise the price of admission in some of its most popular parks.
Beginning June 1, admission to many fee-charging parks will increase by $5, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced Thursday. A vehicle pass to Yosemite National Park, for example, will increase from $30 to $35. The price of some park-specific annual passes will increase by more than $5, while some per-person passes will see smaller increases.
The majority of the country's national parks will remain free to enter.
Zinke said that 80 percent of increased admission revenue will be funneled back into the same park where it was collected, and all revenue from the increase will remain within the system of national parks. The money will fund $11.6 billion in much-needed infrastructure and facility repairs.
"Not all visitors to our parks have the ability to hike with a 30-pound pack and camp in the wilderness miles away from utilities. In order for families with young kids, elderly grandparents, or persons with disabilities to enjoy the parks, we need to rebuild basic infrastructure like roads, trails, lodges, restrooms and visitors centers," Zinke said in a news release.
The announcement comes months after the agency proposed a plan that would have raised admission to more than a dozen of the most popular national parks to $70 to fund the repairs. More than 100,000 people submitted comments during a 30-day period after that plan was proposed, many in opposition.