Rocky Mountain National Park Changes Entrance Fee To Address Infrastructure Needs And Improve Visitor Experience

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Date: April 12, 2018
Contact: Kyle Patterson, Public Affairs Officer, (970) 586-1363
Contact: General Park Information, (970) 586-1206

The National Park Service (NPS) announced today that Rocky Mountain National Park will modify its entrance fees to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance needs that enhance the visitor experience. Effective June 1, all of the park’s passes will increase.  Rocky Mountain National Park is unique in that it offers a Day Pass. Rocky will continue to offer the Day Pass, it will increase from $20 to $25. The Seven-Day Vehicle Pass will increase from $30 to $35, the Seven-Day Motorcycle Pass will increase from $25 to $30. The park’s Annual Pass will increase from $60 to $70.

Last October, the NPS proposed a plan to adopt seasonal pricing at Rocky Mountain National Park and 16 other national parks to raise additional revenue for infrastructure and maintenance needs. The fee structure announced today addresses many concerns and ideas provided by the public on how best to address fee revenue for parks.

Revenue from entrance fees remains in the National Park Service and helps ensure a quality experience for all who visit. In Rocky Mountain National Park, 80 percent of entrance fees stay in the park and are devoted to spending that supports the visitor. The other 20 percent of entry fee income is shared with other national parks for their projects.

According to park superintendent Darla Sidles, “We appreciate all park stakeholders who engaged and commented on the proposed fee increase including elected officials, community leaders, park visitors and our neighbors. We are committed to keeping Rocky Mountain National Park affordable and providing visitors with the best possible experience. This fee increase is still an incredible value when considering other family and recreational experiences. Plus, 80 percent of those funds stay right here in Rocky to benefit visitors and improve the park, such as operating the park’s visitor shuttle bus system, providing food storage lockers at campgrounds, and restoring willow and aspen habitat. The additional revenue will also help us address the park’s $84 million deferred maintenance backlog on projects such as rehabilitating numerous trails like the Onahu Trail and Cub Lake Trail, renovating restroom facilities, replacing a failing septic system at Timber Creek Campground, and mitigating beetle-killed hazard trees in or near park facilities such as picnic areas and trailheads.” 

National parks have experienced record breaking visitation, with more than 1.5 billion visitors in the last five years. Rocky’s 2017 visitation alone was 4.4 million visitors, making it the fourth most visited national park. Throughout the country, the combination of aging infrastructure and increased visitation affects park roads, bridges, buildings, campgrounds, water systems, bathrooms, and other facilities. Maintenance deferred on these facilities amounts to $11.6 billion nationwide backlog.

Entrance fees collected by the National Park Service totaled $199.9 million in Fiscal Year 2016. The NPS estimates that once fully implemented, the new fee structure will increase annual entrance fee revenue by about $60 million.

Rocky Mountain National Park has had an entrance fee since 1939. The current fee rate has been in effect since October, 2015. The park is one of 117 in the National Park System that charges an entrance fee. The remaining 300 sites are free to enter.

The price of the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass and Lifetime Senior Pass will remain $80.

The complete fee schedule will change according to the following:
 

Rocky Mountain National Park
  Daily Pass  Seven-Day Vehicle Pass
 
Seven-Day Motorcycle Pass
 
Park Specific Annual Pass
Current $20 $30 $25 $60
June 1, 2018 $25 $35 $30 $70
                                                                                      

 



Last updated: April 13, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517

Phone:

(970) 586-1206
Through winter, the Information Office is open 8:00 am–4:30 pm Mon–Fri. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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