May 13, 2015
Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski, 928-638-7958
Emily Davis, 928-638-7609
Grand Canyon, Ariz. –Effective June 1, 2015, Grand Canyon National Park will increase park entrance fees and the cost of overnight backcountry permits. The current park entrance fees have been in place since 2006. Grand Canyon began charging for overnight backcountry permits in 1997 and last modified backcountry fees in 2000.
The single vehicle entrance fee will change from $25 to $30 for a seven day pass. The motorcycle entrance fee will increase to $25 for a seven day pass. The current rate of $12 per person entering the park via Grand Canyon Railway, the park shuttle bus, private rafting trip, by walking or riding a bicycle will increase to $15. Grand Canyon National Park's annual pass will increase from $50 to $60. This increase does not affect commercial entrance fees.
During a 60-day public engagement period, the park received 59 formal comments about the entrance fee increase. Many comments supported an increase, as the additional revenue will be used to enhance visitor services, including repair and maintenance of park facilities, restoration and rehabilitation of visitor service buildings, additional park programs and transportation services, and to increase resource protection. Examples of projects where fee revenue was used include 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 fee income.
Entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years of age or holders of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Annual, Senior, Access, or Military Passes. These passes may be obtained at the park.The interagency passes, honored at all federally managed land units, are not affected by the entrance fee 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 June 1, 2015 for permits issued starting on or after October 1, 2015. 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 increase 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, Grand Canyon National Park will end its Frequent Hiker Membership program effective June 1, 2015. As part of 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). For questions about the backcountry fee increase and termination of the Frequent Hiker Membership, contact Steve Sullivan at 928-638-7415.
Grand Canyon National Park is a strong economic engine for the surrounding area. In 2014, over 4.7 million visitors to Grand Canyon National Park spent over $509 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 7,846 jobs in the local area.