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Crater Lake Natl. Park to phase in entrance fee hikes

To fund infrastructure, visitor needs

CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK, Ore. - The National Park Service announced Thursday that Crater Lake National Park will incrementally raise its entrance fees to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance needs to enhance the visitor experience.  

 

Effective May 13, the entrance fees to the park will go from $15 to $25 per vehicle and $10 to $20 per motorcycle.  An annual park pass will cost $50, up $10. 

 

Effective January 1, 2020, the entrance fees to the park will be $30 per vehicle, $25 per motorcycle, and the annual park pass will cost $55.  All of the money received from entrance fees remains with the National Park Service.

 

Revenue from entrance fees remains in the National Park Service and helps ensure a quality experience for all who visit, the park said.  

 

"In Crater Lake National Park, at least 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," a news release stated.

 

In response to public comments on a fee proposal released in October 2017, there will be a modest increase for all entrance fee-charging parks, rather than the higher peak-season fees initially proposed only for 17 highly-visited national parks.

 

“We want to provide visitors with the best possible experience when they come to the park,” said Crater Lake National Park Superintendent, Craig Ackerman. “The money from entrance fees is used to support deferred maintenance and a variety of projects that directly benefit park visitors such as improving park trails and expanding parking at the popular Cleetwood Trailhead.”

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 an aging infrastructure and increased visitation has put a strain on park roads, bridges, campgrounds, waterlines, bathrooms, and other visitor services and led to a $11.6 billion deferred maintenance backlog nationwide. 

The additional revenue from the fee increase at Crater Lake National Park will be used to enhance visitor services, including repair and maintenance of park facilities, restoration and rehabilitation of visitor service buildings, implementation of additional park programs, production of interpretive media, and increase of resource protection.

Examples of some of the projects undertaken over the last year include trail improvements on the Pumice Flat Trail, Annie Creek Loop Trail, Lady of the Woods Trail, and others; improvements to the Cleetwood Cove Parking Lot; control of invasive plants in popular visitor areas; and replacement of snow poles along Highway 62.  

In store for 2018 are several important trail projects including accessibility improvements to the Godfrey Glen Trail, work toward replacement of the failed bulkhead at Cleetwood Cove and replacement of the historic entrance signs at the western and southern park boundaries.

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.  

Crater Lake National Park has had an entrance fee since the early 1900s.  At that time the rate was $2 per vehicle.  The current rate of $15 per vehicle or $10 per motorcycle has been in effect since 2015.  The park is one of 117 National Park Service site that charges an entrance fee, the other 300 national parks will remain 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.  

The National Park Service has a standardized entrance fee structure, composed of four groups based on park size and type.  Crater Lake National Park is one of the park sites in group 3. Some parks, such as Crater Lake, not yet aligned with the other parks in their category will raise their fees incrementally and fully incorporate the new entrance fee schedule by January 1, 2020.

The complete fee schedule will change according to the following:

 

Crater Lake National Park

 

Per

Vehicle

 Per

Person

 Per

Motorcycle

Park Specific Annual Pass

Current

$15

$10

$10

$40

May 13, 2018

$25

$12

$20

$50

Jan 1, 2020

$30

$15

$25

$55


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