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$30 to ride your bike into a national park??!?

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$30 to ride your bike into a national park??!?

Old 10-25-17, 12:32 PM
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Seattle Forrest
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$30 to ride your bike into a national park??!?

If you haven't heard, NPS is proposing to raise the entry fees at popular national parks. The proposal covers 2 of the 3 parks in my state, the 3rd (North Cascades) will remain free. For ONP the increased fee period will be May 1 to Sept 30.
During that time period, the entry fee would increase from the current $25 to $70 per vehicle. Motorcycles would be charged $50 instead of the current $20, and a walk-in or bicycle fee would jump from $10 to $30.

National Park Service proposes raising fees for peak months | The Olympian

As road cyclists, many of us enjoy riding in scenic places. Every now and then there's a thread in here about somebody planning a bike vacation and asking for advice. So, if you have one coming up, plan for this.

Here are the 17 parks that will be affected:

▪ Acadia National Park, Maine
▪ Arches National Park, Utah
▪ Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
▪ Canyonlands National Park, Utah
▪ Denali National Park, Alaska
▪ Glacier National Park, Montana
▪ Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
▪ Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
▪ Joshua Tree National Park, California
▪ Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
▪ Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
▪ Olympic National Park, Washington
▪ Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, California
▪ Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
▪ Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
▪ Yosemite National Park, California
▪ Zion National Park, Utah

Read more here: National Park Service proposes raising fees for peak months | The Olympian


The comment period is still open and you can leave your opinion at parkplanning.nps.gov until Nov 23.
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Old 10-25-17, 12:35 PM
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I would assume there is an annual pass available.

Does that come with a full right to the road? Often NPs have sections where the speed limit is below what a cyclist can ride. Cars still want to come around.

Pikes Peak charges similar for a person in a car or on a bike (don't remember exact number). What the price has done is reduced traffic.
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Old 10-25-17, 12:39 PM
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Sheesh. Fortunately no fees collected at GSMNP.
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Old 10-25-17, 12:41 PM
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Sounds reasonable to me. All of our local scenery, such as it is, remains free.
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Old 10-25-17, 12:44 PM
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[Additional commentary likely to be deemed "P&R" on this forum]
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Old 10-25-17, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
I would assume there is an annual pass available.

Does that come with a full right to the road? Often NPs have sections where the speed limit is below what a cyclist can ride. Cars still want to come around.

Pikes Peak charges similar for a person in a car or on a bike (don't remember exact number). What the price has done is reduced traffic.
Annual pass is $80, I haven't heard anything about whether this will increase.

It does not get you any special right to the road. There are usually a few days out of the year that bikes have exclusive access to the roads in Mt Rainier, just before the road opens. I think there's an annual event in Olympic National Park where Hurricane Ridge Road is closed except to cyclists, I don't know the details. (North Cascades NP is "my place," ONP is not.)
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Old 10-25-17, 12:47 PM
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People with money will buy annual passes.
Poor people will be shut out.
Private contractors that run the parks will make more money.
Parks will still be crowded.

That is my cynical take on it.
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Old 10-25-17, 12:53 PM
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This is a rotten thing to do given the low impact of bikes but then we live and die on the altar of tax cuts.
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Old 10-25-17, 12:54 PM
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Funds need to come from the government or user fees.

Nothing is free.
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Old 10-25-17, 12:57 PM
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I'm glad I got my lifetime senior pass before the prices went up!
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Old 10-25-17, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
Private contractors that run the parks will make more money.

Private contactors don't run the parks. They run concessions in the parks, such as restaurants. Their profits depend on volume, so anything that threatens to reduce the number of visitors threatens their profits.


In any event, a lot of our parks need a lot of work. The money has to come from somewhere. I paid $15 to ride in Glacier last year. I would have paid $30. It was my 4th time riding in the park. As always, the experience was worth it.
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Old 10-25-17, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
I would assume there is an annual pass available.
The price for an annual pass that's valid in all National Parks (except Isle Royale) is $80 [$20 for life for those of us 62 and up]. So I wonder how many people would end up opting for the $70 one-time entry fee.

The last time the fees were raised I wrote during the comments period that the fees for hikers and bicyclists seemed exorbitant and contrary to the NPS stated policy of discouraging motor vehicle traffic. At that time the proposal was $20 per vehicle (regardless of number of occupants) and $10 per hiker or cyclist. Typical vehicle occupancy at National Parks is about 4, so hikers and cyclists were paying twice as much while having much less impact in terms of air quality and congested roads and parking lots.
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Old 10-25-17, 01:04 PM
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I favor charging for those that use public owned areas. I wish they would charge for street parking in my city. I've seen to opposite and areas become abused.
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Old 10-25-17, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
The price for an annual pass that's valid in all National Parks (except Isle Royale) is $80 [$20 for life for those of us 62 and up]. So I wonder how many people would end up opting for the $70 one-time entry fee.
People on vacation for a week or less will have no reason to spend the extra $10.
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Old 10-25-17, 01:08 PM
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Seems reasonable for a season's pass. National Parks pass in Canada is/was $130 a few years ago, but you also had access to all the other National Exhibits.
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Old 10-25-17, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
Funds need to come from the government or user fees.

Nothing is free.
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
In any event, a lot of our parks need a lot of work. The money has to come from somewhere. I paid $15 to ride in Glacier last year. I would have paid $30. It was my 4th time riding in the park. As always, the experience was worth it.
Currently the estimated maintenance backlog for the National Park Service is $11.9 Billion dollars.

Craig Sailor, reporting for The News Tribune wrote: “The nearly $200 million collected in entrance fees could climb to $268 million, the government estimated.”

$68 million dollars doesn't even begin to put a dent in the $11.9 Billion dollar maintenance backlog.

But it almost triples the entry fees at America’s most popular national parks and prices many people and families out.
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Old 10-25-17, 01:15 PM
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It's probably free for a gas company to go in and drill there....
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Old 10-25-17, 01:21 PM
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Keep at it. We can certainly move this to the appropriate forum, based upon the replies.
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Old 10-25-17, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
The last time the fees were raised I wrote during the comments period that the fees for hikers and bicyclists seemed exorbitant and contrary to the NPS stated policy of discouraging motor vehicle traffic. At that time the proposal was $20 per vehicle (regardless of number of occupants) and $10 per hiker or cyclist. Typical vehicle occupancy at National Parks is about 4, so hikers and cyclists were paying twice as much while having much less impact in terms of air quality and congested roads and parking lots.
I noticed that too.

4 people could ride their bikes to the nearest national park, and gets charged twice as much as it would be for 4 people to drive with their bikes on a rack, then park the car once inside the gate, and ride.

Bicycles cause less congestion in the parking areas (especially if racks are provided), but potentially more interruption of traffic flow on the roads.

We have two annual partial vehicle free day at our local park, Crater Lake. But, everything seems to be organized around driving to get there. There is no mention of bicycle commuting to the park.
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Old 10-25-17, 01:30 PM
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Ibtm
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Old 10-25-17, 01:32 PM
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Free Entrance Days in the National Parks
https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm
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Old 10-25-17, 01:41 PM
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It’s probably inevitable this will be sent to P&R. I posted it in road because we as road cyclists are affected by this, and should be aware that it’s happening.
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Old 10-25-17, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
Free Entrance Days in the National Parks
https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm
Not necessarily the best days to be riding one's bike... at least on the steep, windy roads around Crater Lake.
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Old 10-25-17, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
I would assume there is an annual pass available.
$80, good for a year.

For anyone doing multiple visits to a U.S. NP, it sure makes sense. According to the NPS, it covers "everyone" ... by which I'd think that means whether you're entering as a pedestrian, on a bike, moped, car, truck, whatever.
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Old 10-25-17, 02:05 PM
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Aren't the fee increases meant to address the congestion issues in the parks. I know at least Zions, Arches and Canyonlands are packed! To me bikes aren't adding to the congestion issue. They take far less space on the road and not clogging up parking.
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