Grand Canyon National Park increases entrance, backcountry permit fees

GRAND CANYON, Arizona — Effective June 1, Grand Canyon National Park will increase park entrance fees and the cost of overnight backcountry permits.

The current park entrance fees have been in place since 2006. Grand Canyon began charging for overnight backcountry permits in 1997 and last modified backcountry fees in 2000.

Grand Canyon National Park is a strong economic engine for the surrounding area. According to the park’s press release, over 4.7 million visitors to Grand Canyon National Park spent over $509 million in communities near the park in 2014. That spending supported 7,846 jobs in the local area.

Entrance fees

The single vehicle entrance fee will change from $25 to $30 for a seven day pass.

The motorcycle entrance fee will increase to $25 for a seven day pass.

The current rate of $12 per person entering the park via Grand Canyon Railway, the park shuttle bus, private rafting trip, by walking or riding a bicycle will increase to $15.

The park’s annual pass will increase from $50 to $60. This increase does not affect commercial entrance fees.

Public comments; use of revenue

During a 60-day public engagement period, the park received 59 formal comments about the entrance fee increase.

Many comments supported an increase, as the additional revenue will be used to enhance visitor services, including repair and maintenance of park facilities, restoration and rehabilitation of visitor service buildings, additional park programs and transportation services, and to increase resource protection.

Examples of projects where fee revenue was used include the Bright Angel Trailhead renovation, the redesign of Mather Point, and the Grand Canyon Visitor Center. The park’s free shuttle bus system is also funded by entrance fee income.

Fee exemptions, passes

Entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years of age or holders of the America the Beautiful National Parks, federal recreational annual, senior, access or military passes. These passes may be obtained at the park.

The interagency passes, honored at all federally managed land units, are not affected by the entrance fee increase and will remain at $80 for the interagency annual pass, $10 for the senior pass, and free for the access or military passes.

Learn more about the various passes available here.

Backcountry permits

The cost recovery charge for overnight backcountry permits will increase June 1 for permits issued starting on or after Oct. 1.

The new charge will be $10 per backcountry permit (same as present), plus a nightly charge of $8 per person or stock animal camping below the rim and each group camping above the rim in designated backcountry camping areas. This increase does not affect camping fees at Mather, Desert View or North Rim campgrounds.

All backcountry permit revenue pays actual costs for running and staffing Grand Canyon’s permit offices and Backcountry Information Centers. This adjustment and decisions to trim costs for the backcountry operation are designed to eliminate a funding deficit and ensure the operation will recover the actual costs incurred.

Frequent hiker program ends

Additionally, Grand Canyon National Park will end its Frequent Hiker Membership program effective June 1. As part of terminating this program, all existing members who have not already experienced $25 in savings through their memberships will be provided with hiker credit for the difference, up to $25.

Resources

  • For questions about the backcountry fee increase and termination of the Frequent Hiker Membership, contact Steve Sullivan at 928-638-7415.

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