Crater Lake Considers Fee Increase

posted by Brad Ford - 

Crater Lake National Park is proposing an increase to entrance fees into the park.  The single vehicle entrance fee would change from $15 to $25 for a seven-day pass. The park's annual pass would increase from $30 to $50. The current rate of $10 per individual and $10 per motorcycle would increase to $12 for an individual and $20 for a motorcycle. The park is proposing this increase begin May 1, 2018.

America the Beautiful Passes, which are honored at all federally managed land units, are not affected by the proposed fee increase and will remain at $80 for the regular pass, $80 for the lifetime Senior Pass ($20 for an annual Senior Pass) and free for the Access and Military passes.  Entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years of age or holders of any of the passes listed above.

This fee increase is part of a larger National Park Service initiative to standardize fees in similarly sized national parks across the country.  The current park entrance fees have been in place at Crater Lake since 2015, when a seven-day pass was increased from $10 to $15 per vehicle.  Based on feedback received when the new entrance fees were proposed in 2014, the decision was made to phase the increase over time, in part due to delays anticipated to visitors resulting from planned road construction.  This increase represents the final phase of aligning the Crater Lake fees with those of similar parks.

“We are committed to keeping the park affordable but we also want to provide visitors with the best possible experience,” said Crater Lake National Park Superintendent, Craig Ackerman. “The money from entrance fees is used to support deferred maintenance and a variety of projects that directly benefit park visitors.”

The additional revenue from the fee increase will be used to enhance visitor services, including repair and maintenance of park facilities, restoration and rehabilitation of visitor service buildings, implementation of additional park programs, production of interpretive media, and increase of resource protection. Examples of some of the projects undertaken over the last year include trail improvements on the Pumice Flat Trail, Annie Creek Loop Trail, Lady of the Woods Trail, and others; improvements to the Cleetwood Cove Parking Lot; control of invasive plants in popular visitor areas;  updates to the park communications system; and, replacement of snow poles along Highway 62.  In store for 2018 are several important trail projects including accessibility improvements to the Godfrey Glen Trail, replacement of pavement markings for visitor safety, work towards replacement of the failed bulkhead at Cleetwood Cove and replacement of the historic entrance signs at the western and southern park boundaries.

The park is a strong economic engine for the region and local communities. In 2016, more than 756,343 park visitors contributed $65.3 million to the local economy and supported 1,101 jobs related to tourism. Previous fee increases have had no negative effect on visitation levels.

A public engagement period on the proposed fee increase is open today, Thursday, February 22, 2018 through Sunday, March 25, 2018. Comments can be emailed by visiting http://parkplanning.nps.gov/crlafees2018 or written comments can be mailed to Superintendent, Attention: Proposed Fee Increase, P.O. Box 7 Crater Lake, OR 97604.  Following receipt and analysis of public feedback, a decision will be made regarding fee changes and timing of implementation.

Source: National Parks Service

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