Rainier, Olympic visitors may see a large hike in fees | KUOW News and Information

Rainier, Olympic visitors may see a large hike in fees

Oct 25, 2017

Next summer fees may increase at the 17 seventeen busiest national parks, including Olympic National Park and Mount Rainier.

The Park Service is asking for public comments on a new proposal that would nearly triple some entrance fees.

Next summer, if you drive into Olympic National Park or Mount Rainier, you may have to pay a new $70 entrance fee. That’s $45 dollars more than the fee now. Riding a motorcycle in may be $30 dollars more. And walking or biking in might be $20 dollars more.

The National Park Service is proposing increasing the fees during peak summer months. They’re accepting public comments until November 23.

The money is to restore park infrastructure, including roads, trails, utility systems and bridges.

Randy King is the superintendent of Mount Rainier National Park, which has $176 million in deferred maintenance. He said most of that is for roads.

“Contractor costs tend to be a bit higher the more remote the location and sometimes it’s a short season of operation here too so, all those things can increase contractor costs," King said.

At Olympic National Park, the money would go to maintain Sol Duc Road and rehabilitate the Hurricane Ridge Visitor’s Center.

Across the U.S., higher fees are expected to generate $70 million a year.

Most national park sites would remain free, as they are now. An annual America The Beautiful pass would still cost $80.