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Contact: Abby Wines, 760-786-3221
DEATH VALLEY, CA – Death Valley National Park will raise entrance fees to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance needs to enhance visitors’ experiences. Park entrance fees will be $30 per vehicle or $25 per motorcycle effective June 1, 2018.
Revenue from Death Valley’s entrance fees stays in the park and is used to support visitor experiences.
Roads, campgrounds, waterlines, and other facilities are aging in National Park Service (NPS) sites throughout the country. Infrastructure in many parks was built in the 1950s. Death Valley National Park is responsible for Scotty’s Castle (built in the 1920s) and adobe buildings that were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
Death Valley National Park Superintendent, Mike Reynolds, commented, “We average one water line break per week. It feels like we’re always in emergency mode.”
Nationwide, the NPS has an $11.6 billion deferred maintenance backlog. Death Valley has about $139 million in deferred maintenance needs, yet the park’s annual operating budget is $8.5 million.
In October 2017, the National Park Service proposed a peak-season fee model that would have increased fees more substantially, but only at 17 of the most highly-visited national parks. Death Valley was not included in that proposal. In response to public comments on that proposal, the NPS decided to implement a more modest fee increase, but to apply it to all 117 parks that charge an entrance fee.
Entrance fees at Death Valley National Park will support a variety of projects that will enhance visitor experience. The park plans to rehabilitate parking lots, sidewalks, restrooms, and boardwalks at popular trailheads including Badwater, Golden Canyon, Natural Bridge, and Salt Creek. Entrance fees are funding about one-third of the projects to repair flood damage at Scotty’s Castle, which is scheduled to reopen to the public in 2020.
Entrance fees collected by the National Park Service totaled $199.9 million in fiscal year 2016. The NPS estimates that the new fee structure will increase annual entrance fee revenue nationwide by about $60 million and at Death Valley National Park by $350,000.
Death Valley National Park’s current rate of $25 per vehicle has been in effect since 2016. Death Valley is one of 117 National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee; the other 300 national park sites will remain free to enter.
An annual Death Valley National Park pass will cost $55. The price of the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass and Lifetime Senior Pass will remain $80.
Death Valley National Park’s fee schedule will change according to the following:
|Death Valley National Park Fees|
|Death Valley Annual Pass|
|June 1, 2018||$30||$25||$55|
Death Valley National Park is the homeland of the Timbisha Shoshone and preserves natural and cultural resources, exceptional wilderness, scenery, and learning experiences within the nation’s largest conserved desert landscape and some of the most extreme climate and topographic conditions on the planet. About two-thirds of the park was originally designated as Death Valley National Monument in 1933. Today the park is enjoyed by about 1,300,000 people per year. The park is 3,400,000 acres – nearly as large as the state of Connecticut. Learn more at www.nps.gov/deva.