Olympic National Park Proposes to Increase Park Entry and Use Fees; Funds to Support Park Facilities and Services

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Olympic National Park News Release

October 31, 2014

For Immediate Release
Barb Maynes               360-565-3005

Olympic National Park Proposes to Increase Park Entry and Use Fees; Funds to Support Park Facilities and Services

With other national parks across the nation, Olympic National Park is inviting public input on possible fee increases proposed for 2015.

With few exceptions, fees across the national parks have not changed since 2006.  This is true at Olympic, where current fees have been in place since January 2006.

In August, the National Park Service released an updated entrance fee rate schedule for all NPS units that charge entrance fees.  As at Mount Rainier, the entrance fee at Olympic National Park is proposed to increase to $25 for a seven-day vehicle pass.  Other parks including Bryce, Zion and Yosemite National Parks are targeted to charge $30 in 2015 while fees at smaller parks and recreation areas are set at lower rates.

Under the new pricing model, Olympic’s entrance fees would change as shown below.

 

Entrance Fees

Current

Proposed

Vehicle (7 days; all park entrances)

$15

$25

Motorcycle (7 days; all park entrances)

$5

$20

Person (7 days; all park entrances; 16 & older only)

$5

$12

Annual Pass (good for one year from purchase date; good for pass holder and vehicle occupants at all park entrances)

$30

$50

 

“We are committed to providing all visitors with the best possible experience, while still providing affordable options to enjoy the park,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. “The money from camping and entrance fees is used to improve visitor facilities like water and wastewater systems, campgrounds, roads, trails and visitor centers.

Fee revenue at Olympic is used to improve visitor facilities and services, from trail and wilderness bridge repair to new visitor center exhibits to operating the park’s wilderness information program.

In 2014, fee funding is providing for new exhibits at the Hoh Visitor Center, accessible parking spaces and walkways at the Hoh and Quinault visitor centers, trail repairs in the Hoh and Sol Duc valleys and south coast route and wilderness information for hikers and backpackers.

To learn more and to provide comment on the proposed fee changes, people may visit the NPS Planning, Environment & Public Comment website, www.parkplanning.nps.gov/OLYMfees.

Additionally, staff at Olympic has conducted a comparability study of Olympic Peninsula campgrounds.  This is done periodically to ensure that park use fees are aligned with area pricing standards.

Based on comparisons with area facilities and opportunities, the park also proposes increased rates for camping, overnight wilderness use and RV sewage dumping.

 

Campground Fees

Current

Proposed

Fees vary according to availability of potable water and advance reservation system.

$10-$18

$15-$25

 
Overnight Wilderness Use Permits

Current

Proposed

Registration Fee (per group)

$5

discontinued

Nightly Fee (per person 16 and older only)

$2

$5 in 2015;         $7 in 2017

Annual Wilderness Pass (per person; $15 for each additional household member)

$30

discontinued

 
RV Sewage Dump Fee

$5

$10

 
Ranger Guided Snowshoe Walk

$5 donation

$10/adults

$5/youth (6-15 years)

 

“While we rely on fee revenue to upgrade and improve park facilities and services, there are also a number of ways for people to receive free entry to Olympic National Park,” said Creachbaum.

Fee revenue at Olympic is used to improve visitor facilities and services, from trail and wilderness bridge repair to new visitor center exhibits to operating the park’s wilderness information program.  This year alone, fee money is providing for new exhibits at the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center, new accessible parking spaces and pathways at the Hoh and Quinault Rain Forest Ranger Station and much-needed trail repairs in the Sol Duc and Hoh valleys, as well as the south coast route.

Entrance fees apply only to people 16 years of age and older; youth and children 15 years old and younger enter the park for free. Olympic National Park also hosts nine entrance fee-free days throughout the year.  More information about these options, along with the Senior, Access and Military passes that provide free entry are available at parkplanning.nps.gov/OLYMfees.
Olympic National Park is a major economic engine for the Olympic Peninsula and surrounding area.  A National Park Service (NPS) report issued in July of this year showed that in 2013, 3,085,340 visitors to Olympic National Park spent $245,894,100 in communities near the park. That spending supported 2,993 jobs in the local area.  This year’s visitation has already exceeded last year’s, with 3,343,749 recreation visits recorded through the end of September 2014.  To date, Olympic’s annual visitation is up 28 percent over last year.

9 Comments

  1. HerbS

    Comments can be submitted through Dec. 31 at http://www.parkplanning.nps.gov/OLYMfees.

    I still sent my pithy comments off and suggest you do the same.
    “How do I feel about paying more in fees. Not much. Considering the gas costs of driving into some of these areas that daily visit is far out of my affordability index. Have not even visited the Dungeness spit since they began charging. Somehow I do not think Teddy Roosevelt would have supported a National Park system that can now only be afforded by foreign tourists and the rich.

    I am disabled and have a limited income, somehow I think LOCAL residents be they in Jefferson or Clallam county should get a waiver for our local park. Same for parks in other states – let the locals in for free.”.
    Oh ya, a follow up.
    “I am going to pay more in order to get irradiated from Navy Radar equipment.
    Prostituting the National Forest is one thing, but some of these sites are right next to the Park.
    This Navy intrusion into our Olympic Park and Forest system just sucks.
    and you want me to pay more??? Good luck on that.”

    Lots of money and tax dollars are allocated for aggressive, unprovoked, and illegal wars – new fighter planes that are overpriced and questionable in combat roles. Soon we will need to replace our old submarine ‘boomers’ and yup lots of money to upgrade the outdated nuclear missile system we have.

    Kilmer, Murray and Cantwell have no problem with those funding’s – 500 million to invade Syria a few years ago … but to subsidize the Park system. No-way. Its pay as you go. Hell with that!

    Reply
  2. HerbS

    In the U.K. and possibly in other EU countries most of the countryside/beaches/parks are free to public access.. “Some are run by an organization called the National Trust where there is a charge, and although I haven’t visited any for years now, they can be quite expensive, but they are very well cared for and the money goes to keeping them up and especially often a country mansion/castle/etc. within the grounds.”’
    I suspect this might be the equivalent to some of our Civil War monuments and or Monticello.

    In England they also have botanical gardens run by various universities, museums etc. These too have costs associated with them. Some may be expensive and others are free. Our own botanical gardens are mostly associated with Universities and have been run down into ruin. Other private enterprises like the Weyerhaeuser Bonsai collection south of Seattle have become a disgrace, or a monument to corporate cutbacks.
    In England even national monuments like Stone Henge where you have to pay, are usually not too expensive, and money goes to their upkeep.

    Where have we gone wrong?, when we now have to spend five to seven dollars per person to camp overnight in a wilderness area. Mind you, after paying for the parking rights to do so. Campground fees of 15 to 35.00 dollars.
    Annual Wilderness Pass (per person; $15 for each additional household member) DISCONTINUED!
    In the 6o’s I lived in New Jersey and to get to the beaches we had to pay on a TOLL road and got to the beach turnbuckles where one had to insert a quarter per person to enter the beach. We are coming to that point in WA State as well.
    Throw in Tribal choke points and their own charges – we damn well have few free beaches left.

    Reply
  3. HerbS

    I hate to repeat myself on this issue but Mike Doherty and Derek Kilmer did answer my questioning of ‘oversight’ and not publishing this proposed use of Forest Lands in ANY local paper, then having ONE meeting in Forks. These two answered my request that they have a meeting in PA. This will occur this Thursday Nov. 6th. and will be at the Port Angeles City Council chambers at 6 pm for a demonstration and public forum on its proposal..
    I FINALLY got “Patty Murray’s” The beginning lines says it all.
    “Thank you for contacting me about United States military action against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). I appreciate the benefit of your thoughts on this critical and ongoing crisis.

    As you are aware, ISIL is an extremist group that is dedicated to establishing control in Iraq and Syria and has demonstrated that it will use brutal means to achieve its goals. Already, the world has witnessed ISIL’s mass murder of civilians and captured Iraqi soldiers and its beheading of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. ISIL’s stated intention of attacking Americans here at home is a threat that must be taken seriously.” …
    This is the THIRD identical piece of crap I have received from her.
    NONE of my questions involved ISIS or Syria or Obama’s arming Syrian ‘”Freedom Fighters’ who just this week surrendered to Al Qaeda and turned over all the weapons that this administration, the Kilmer and Murrays have furnished them.
    You think I’m going to vote for her. NOPE! At least Derek Kilmer ANSWERED my question appropriately – on this issue only!.

    Reply

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