Your Fee Dollars at Work

Your Feel Dollars at Work poster describing how fees are used in national parks


Your Fee Dollars at Work poster. Click the poster for a detailed web page describing the ways fees are collected and used throughout the National Park Service system.

Recreation fees provide a vital source of revenue for improving facilities and services for park visitors. The National Park Service collects entrance fees under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA), passed by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2004. Eighty percent of entrance fees collected at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve stay in the park and are used for projects directly related to visitor enjoyment, resource protection, and safety. The remaining 20 percent is distributed throughout the national park system, helping to support park units that do not collect fees.

National parks have experienced record-breaking visitation, with more than 1.5 billion visitors in the last five years. Throughout the country, the combination of an aging infrastructure and increased visitation has put a strain on park roads, bridges, campgrounds, waterlines, bathrooms, and other visitor services and led to a $11.6 billion deferred maintenance backlog nationwide.

Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout in Water
Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout are native only to the Upper Rio Grande Basin in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve contains excellent habitat for this rare trout. Part of your fee dollars support the complex process of reintroducing this trout here.


Projects at Great Sand Dunes Funded by Your Fee Dollars

The additional revenue from entrance fees at Great Sand Dunes support:

  • The renovation of the visitor center, and planning, design and installation of new visitor center exhibits
  • The restoration of Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout in Sand Creek
  • Visitor Use Comfort Stations - This project rehabilitated six deteriorated comfort stations in the day-use area and campground. The existing heating system was converted to a solar heating system and the ceramic floor tile, toilet partitions, and mirrors, exterior doors were replaced.
  • Music Pass Trail Drainage and Tread Surface - This funded project repaired of the Music Pass Trail by the youth conservation corps trail crews. The project corrected drainage issues by repairing over 4,000 feet of outslope, 900 feet of inboard ditch, repairing 60 water bars and 24 check steps. A 900 foot reroute was constructed to move the trail off extremely poor soils, and 4,000 square feet of tread will be resurfaced.
  • Medano Road and Campsites - This project will correct road surface and drainage issues on 10-miles of primitive gravel road. 36 lateral drains will be cleaned of sediment and associated drain dips will be repaired. The project will also improve the 20 backcountry campsites along the Medano Road. Site parking surfaces will be improved with imported gravel, and drainage issues will be corrected. Bear-proof food lockers will be leveled, and bollards will be installed to keep vehicles to proper surfaces. Associated trails will be improved by the added gravel.

Last updated: October 22, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Visitor Center
11999 State Highway 150

Mosca, CO 81146


In case of emergency (police, fire, medical): call 911. Non-emergency (non-life-threatening): call (719) 589-5807

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