Rocky Mountain National Park fees increase Oct. 1 |

Rocky Mountain National Park fees increase Oct. 1

Lance Maggart
A bull elk bugles among a herd of cows lsat fall in Rocky Mountain National Park. Entrance and camping fees in the park are increasing starting Oct. 1.
Sky-Hi News file photo | Sky-Hi News

Entrances fees for Rocky Mountain National Park will go up starting Thursday, Oct. 1.

The fees for a weekly automobile pass into Rocky will increase from $20 to $30. A seven-day motorcycle pass will be $25. The annual park pass will also increase in cost by $10 dollars going from $40 to $50 on Oct. 1. The National Park Service (NPS) has announced its intention to increase the fee to $60 starting in 2017.

Starting Oct. 1 RMNP will begin offering a new single-day pass for automobiles. These new passes will cost $20. Campground fees in Rocky will also increase, going from the current $20 to $26 per night. The NPS says the fees are based on comparable costs at nearby campgrounds.

The NPS publicly announced its desire to increases fees at Rocky and at hundreds of other National Park locations throughout the U.S. last fall. Basic operational funding for Rocky is provided by direct appropriations from the U.S. Congress. The fee program in the National Parks is intended to provide funds for enhancements to visitor services and facilities.

Fee increases have been scheduled at locations throughout the state administered by the Park Service. Along with an increase in fees at Rocky, fees will rise at Mesa Verde National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado National Monument, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and Dinosaur National Monument. The amount entrance fees will increase varies at each location.

RMNP has been collecting entrance fees since 1939. The most recent fee increase occurred in April 2009 when the RMNP Annual Pass was increased from $35 to $40. Rocky had 3,434,751 visitors in 2014, an increase from 2,991,141 visitors in 2013. The Park received 31,000 visitors in its first year of existence and has had a total of 171,403,108 visitors during the past 99 years.

So far in 2015 Rocky has seen a 21 percent increase in the number of visitors above 2014 numbers. Through August RMNP received 2,927,827 visitors through their three main driving entrance stations, Beaver Meadows, Fall River and Grand Lake. These figures do not include visitors who entered Rocky at other points.

The NPS offers several fee free days each year at Rocky. The next fee free day will be Saturday, Sept. 26, for National Public Lands Day. Rocky will also be fee free on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

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