As of June 1st, it just got more expensive to visit Grand Canyon National Park. Following a lengthy review of entrance fees across the National Park System at the urging of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the cost for a single car entering the park has risen to $35.00.
Though not the doubling of the existing entrance fee which was on the table, it still reflects a nearly 20% uptick. Increases for other modes of transportation, senior citizens, and annual pass holders, as well as the National Park Service rationale for across-the-board increases, can be viewed by following the link at the end of this article.
Supporters of the move say our underfunded National Parks desperately need the revenue. Detractors argue that Congress should not be offloading its fiscal obligations onto the general public.
As a longtime park resident and educator, this writer is concerned that this disturbing trend will only continue and ultimately preclude financially struggling individuals and families from having a Grand Canyon experience. I side with President Theodore Roosevelt who argued in 1903 that the Grand Canyon is “one of the great sights every American should see.”
For anyone who agrees with Teddy, and feels that increasing park fees might stand in the way of his reasonable goal, I encourage you to weigh in on this important issue with your elected representatives.