GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - Starting June 1, visitors to Grand Canyon National Park will pay a little more for their park entrance fees and overnight backcountry permits.
The last increase in entrance fees at Grand Canyon was in 2006. In 1997, Grand Canyon began charging for overnight backcountry permits and has not increased the price in the last 15 years.
A single vehicle entrance fee will increase from $25 to $30 for a seven day pass, motorcycle entrance fees will increase to $25 for a seven day pass and the per person entrance fee for those entering the park on the Grand Canyon Railway, the park shuttle bus, private rafting trip, walking or riding a bicycle will increase to $15 from the current $12. The park's annual pass will also increase from $50 to $60.
Commercial entrance fees will not be affected by the fee increase.
Prior to the decision a 60-day public engagement period was held for public feedback. The park received 59 formal comments about the entrance fee increase.
According to the park many of those comments supported an increase.
The additional revenue will be used to enhance visitor services, including repair and maintenance of park facilities, restoration of visitor service buildings, additional park programs, transportation services and added resource protection.
Entrance fees are used for a variety of projects including the Bright Angel Trailhead renovation, the re-design of Mather Point and the Grand Canyon Visitor Center. The park's free shuttle bus system is also funded by entrance fees.
Anyone younger than 16 years old or holders of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Annual, Senior Access, or Military Passes are not charged entrance fees. These passes are available at the park. The Interagency passes, honored at all federally managed land units, are not affected by the increase and will remain at $80 for the Interagency Annual Pass, $10 for the Senior Pass and free for the Access or Military passes.
The cost recovery charge for overnight backcountry permits will increase for permits issued on or after October 1.
The new charge will be $10 per backcountry permit (same as present), plus a nightly charge of $8 per person or stock animal camping below the rim and each group camping above the rim in designated backcountry camping areas. This does not affect camping fees at Mather, Desert View or the North Rim campgrounds.
All backcountry permit revenue pays actual costs for running and staffing Grand Canyon's permit offices and Backcountry Information Centers. This adjustment and decisions to trim costs for the backcountry operation are designed to eliminate a funding deficit and ensure the operation will recover the actual costs incurred.
Additionally, the park will end its Frequent Hiker Membership program on June 1.
In terminating this program, all existing members who have not already experienced $25 in savings through their memberships will be provided with hiker credit for the difference (up to $25).
More information about the backcountry fee increase and termination of the Frequent Hiker Membership can be found by contacting Steve Sullivan at 928-638-7415.
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