Crater Lake National Park is considering increases in entrance fees based on new standards being implemented for national parks across the country. Under the proposal Crater Lake would be placed into a tier that includes most major national parks. The single vehicle entrance fee would increase from $10 to $25 for a seven day pass. Individual and motorcycle entrance fees, also good for seven days, would increase from $5 to $12 for individuals and from $5 to $20 for motorcycles. Due to anticipated major roadways construction beginning in 2015 and other factors, Crater Lake Superintendent Craig Ackerman said that one alternative is to phase in the increase over a period of several years rather than all at once. At a future date, when major road construction projects have been completed, fees could rise to the level that would put Crater Lake at the same rates as other national parks of similar size and visitation.
Interagency Passes, which are honored at all federally managed land units, are not affected by the proposed fee increase and will remain at $80 for the regular pass, $10 for the Senior Pass and free for the Access and Military passes. The current park entrance fees have been in place since 1997, when a seven day pass was increased from $5 to $10 per vehicle. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $10 in 1997 is equivalent to $14.83 in 2014. Any fee increase would allow Crater Lake to maintain consistent revenue while adjusting accordingly for inflation.
The additional revenue from the fee increase would be used to enhance visitor services, including repair and maintenance of park facilities, restoration and rehabilitation of visitor service buildings, provide additional park programs, interpretive media and transportation services, and increase resource protection. Examples of projects already paid for or in process using entrance fees include the complete reconstruction of the Cleetwood Cove Bulkhead and Dock facility, the expansion of the Cleetwood parking area, repaving of Mazama Campground, design and construction of the Plaikni Falls Trail and development of the park's High Definition orientation video.
A public engagement period on the proposed fee increase is open today,Thursday, November 20 through Monday, December 22, 2014. The easiest way for the public to comment is through a special website set up to receive responses https://parkplanning.nps.gov/crlaproposedfeeincrease. Comments will also be accepted via email at e-mail us and via U.S. Mail at: Superintendent, Attention: Proposed Fee Increase, P.O. Box 7 Crater Lake, OR 97604.
The new fees could be implemented in early 2015. However, the implementation schedule may vary based on the results of public feedback. The park will develop an implementation schedule that supports local communities and interested stakeholders.
The park is a strong economic engine for the region and local communities. In 2013, more than 523,027 park visitors contributed $43.7 million to the local economy and supported 661jobs related to tourism. Previous fee increases have had no negative effect on visitation levels. This fee increase would be part of a larger National Park Service initiative to standardize fees in similar national parks across the country.