Arches and Canyonlands National Parks Seek Public Input on Proposed Entrance Fee Increases

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Date: August 1, 2017
Contact: Mary Wilson or Amy Tendick, 435-719-2100

The National Park Service is seeking public comment on a proposal to raise individual and motorcycle entrance fees in 2018.

The fee increase proposal is part of a larger National Park Service (NPS) initiative to standardize fees for park units offering similar visitor services and experiences. The new revenue from the fee increases will be used to provide enhanced visitor services including repair and maintenance of facilities, capital improvements, enhanced amenities, resource protection, and additional visitor programs and services. Under the fee increase proposal, the cost of entering Arches or Canyonlands national parks would change to:

Proposed Entrance Fee Rates

Type of Entrance Fee Current Fee Proposed Fee
(including entry by foot or bicycle)
$10/person $12/person
Motorcycle $15/motorcycle $20/motorcycle
Private Vehicle $25/vehicle no change

All entrance receipts are valid for up to seven days at the park where they were purchased. The Southeast Utah National Parks Annual Pass ($50.00) is valid for one year through the month of purchase and admits one (1) private, non-commercial vehicle or the pass holder to Arches and Canyonlands national parks.

Entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years of age or to holders of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual, Senior, Access or Military passes.

Both Arches and Canyonlands national parks are strong economic engines for the surrounding area. In 2016, nearly 2.4 million park visitors contributed $309 million dollars to the local economy, and supported over 3,800 jobs related to tourism.

Comments regarding these fee increase proposals may be submitted electronically on the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at:

Comments may also be sent to: National Park Service, Southeast Utah Group, Attn: Planning and Compliance Coordinator, 2282 S. West Resource Blvd, Moab, Utah 84532. Faxed comments may be sent to (435) 719-2300.

Feedback from these comments will determine how, or if, fee increases will be implemented.

Deadline for comments on the proposed fee increase is September 1, 2017. Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why are the parks proposing to increase entrance fees?
    Proposed fee increases at Arches and Canyonlands are part of a broader National Park Service initiative to standardize fee rates in parks across the country that offer similar visitor services and experiences. The parks are now authorized to change their recreation fee rates to align with a new rate schedule, after they have actively engaged the public and stakeholders about proposed changes and impacts.

    Entrance fees at Arches and Canyonlands increased in 2015, but remained lower than the system-wide rate schedule. This increase will align both parks with that schedule. Additional revenue will be used to provide both essential and enhanced visitor services including repair and maintenance of facilities, capital improvements enhanced amenities, resource protection, and additional visitor programs and services.
  2. I pay taxes; why do I still have to pay an entrance fee?
    National park lands are major financial investments. Although Congress expected general revenues to remain a major source of national park funding, it clearly considered recreation fees an important supplemental revenue source for the parks when it authorized parks to charge recreation fees through the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965. Park lands require and continue to need development for visitor access and accommodation, interpretation of park resources, and maintenance of facilities along with other improvements. The National Park Service’s Management Policies 2006, section, states "Visitors who use federal facilities and services for recreation may be required to pay a greater share of the cost of providing those opportunities than the population as a whole."
  3. Is there a local’s pass available?
    The Southeast Utah Group (SEUG) annual pass allows the pass holder and those traveling with him/her in a single, private, non-commercial vehicle entrance to four local national parks: Arches and Canyonlands national parks and Natural Bridges National Monument. A Southeast Utah Parks Pass costs $50.
  4. Are all National Parks proposing to increase their fees?
    Only 131 out of 401 national parks are authorized to collect fees. A number of parks recently increased their fees to align with the new system-wide rate schedule. Parks may not increase their fees without approval by the National Park Service Director, after first conducting careful analysis, proposing changes through a public engagement process, and evaluating public comments.
  5. If approved, when would these fees to go into effect?
    At this time Arches and Canyonlands are proposing that these fee changes would go into effect as early as January 1, 2018, depending on public comments and operational requirements for implementing any change.
  6. What projects do my fees pay for?
    Both Arches and Canyonlands are 80 percent parks, which means that 80 percent of fees collected at each park remain at the park to fund projects for visitor enhancement. Parks that do not collect any fees receive the remaining 20 percent of fees to fund needed visitor-related projects in their parks.

    The recent parking lot expansion at Arches’ popular Wolfe Ranch/Delicate Arch trailhead was completed using fee money. Additional revenue raised by this fee increase could be used to connect the existing Moab Canyon bike path to Arches Visitor Center.

    Projects recently completed at Canyonlands using fee revenues include replacement of the photovoltaic system at the Hans Flat ranger station and enhancement of backcountry river campsites, including the reduction of fire risk around them, by removal of exotic invasive tamarisk. Increased revenue would help fund new exhibits at Island in the Sky Visitor Center and rehabilitate the Gooseberry Trail.

Last updated: August 7, 2017

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Moab, UT 84532


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