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Contact: Ray O'Neil, 520-733-5110
Tucson, AZ--- The National Park Service (NPS) formally announced that Saguaro National Park will modify its entrance fees to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance needs to enhance the visitor experience. Effective January 1, 2019 entrance fees to the park will be $20 per vehicle, $15 per motorcycle, and an annual park pass will cost $40.
In response to public comments on a fee proposal released in October 2017, there will be a modest increase for all entrance fee-charging parks, rather than the higher peak-season fees initially proposed only for 17 highly-visited national parks.
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.
“We remain committed to providing a quality experience for all of our visitors.” said Leah McGinnis, Superintendent at Saguaro National Park.” Entrance fee revenue helps us to accomplish this goal as 100% of the revenues collected stay at Saguaro National Park and is devoted to projects that benefit our visitors, here in Tucson.”
The additional revenue from entrance fees at Saguaro National Park will enable the park to address ongoing park-wide trail maintenance. Work will also include resurfacing the Desert Ecology and Desert Discovery Trails so that they remain accessible. We will rehabilitate the rutted trail surface near Pink Hill, and repairing other frequently used park trails and visitor use areas.
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 approximately $60 million.
The current rate of $15 per vehicle or $10 per motorcycle has been in effect since January 1, 2017. The Saguaro National Park is one of 117 National Park Service site that charges an entrance fee, the other 300 smaller national park units will remain free to enter.
The price of the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass, along with the Lifetime Senior Pass will remain at $80.
The National Park Service has a standardized entrance fee structure, composed of four groups based on park size and type. Saguaro National Park is one of 20 sites in group 2. Some parks not yet aligned with the other parks in their category will raise their fees incrementally and fully incorporate the new entrance fee schedule by January 1, 2020.