Olympic National Park to Increase Park Entry and Use Fees Beginning June 1; Funds Will Support Park Facilities and Services
Entrance and user fees at Olympic National Park will increase on June 1, following the busy Memorial Day Weekend. This is the park’s first fee increase since January 2006.
A new fee schedule for park entrance and user fees was proposed last October and public feedback and comments were invited during a two-month comment period. Several changes were made to the original proposal in response to public input.
“We’re grateful for the comments we received last fall,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. “Entrance and overnight wilderness use fees will be phased in over several years, based in large part on suggestions from stakeholders and the public.”
The new entrance fee schedule is shown below.
The money from user and entrance fees provides vital funding for visitor facilities like water and wastewater systems, campgrounds, roads, trails and visitor centers,” said Creachbaum.
At Olympic in 2014, approximately $2.2 million in fee revenue provided for improved visitor facilities and services, including trail and wilderness bridge repair, new visitor center exhibits and operation of the park’s wilderness information program.
This summer, visitors will find newly improved 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.
“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.
Based on comparisons with area facilities and opportunities, the park also proposes increased rates for camping, overnight wilderness use and RV sewage dumping.
“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.
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 athttp://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/fees.htm
Olympic National Park is a major economic engine for the surrounding area. A National Park Service (NPS) report issued in April of this year showed that in 2014, 3,243,873 visitors to Olympic National Park spent $263,953,300 in communities near the park. That spending supported 3,592 jobs in the local area. To date, this year’s visitation is up 6.6 percent over the first four months of 2014.