Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park News Release
April 12, 2018
For Immediate Release
Kyle Patterson 970-586-1363

Rocky Mountain National Park Changes Entrance Fee To Address Infrastructure Needs And Improve Visitor Experience

The National Park Service (NPS) announced today that Rocky Mountain National Park
will modify its entrance fees to provide additional funding for infrastructure and
maintenance needs that enhance the visitor experience. Effective June 1, all of the
park’s passes will increase. Rocky Mountain National Park is unique in that it offers a
Day Pass. Rocky will continue to offer the Day Pass, it will increase from $20 to $25.
The Seven-Day Vehicle Pass will increase from $30 to $35, the Seven-Day Motorcycle
Pass will increase from $25 to $30. The park’s Annual Pass will increase from $60 to
$70.


Last October, the NPS proposed a plan to adopt seasonal pricing at Rocky Mountain
National Park and 16 other national parks to raise additional revenue for infrastructure
and maintenance needs. The fee structure announced today addresses many concerns
and ideas provided by the public on how best to address fee revenue for parks.
Revenue from entrance fees remains in the National Park Service and helps ensure a
quality experience for all who visit. In Rocky Mountain National Park, 80 percent of
entrance fees stay in the park and are devoted to spending that supports the
visitor. The other 20 percent of entry fee income is shared with other national parks for
their projects.

According to park superintendent Darla Sidles, “We appreciate all park stakeholders
who engaged and commented on the proposed fee increase including elected officials,
community leaders, park visitors and our neighbors. We are committed to keeping
Rocky Mountain National Park affordable and providing visitors with the best possible
experience. This fee increase is still an incredible value when considering other family
and recreational experiences. Plus, 80 percent of those funds stay right here in Rocky
to benefit visitors and improve the park, such as operating the park’s visitor shuttle bus
system, providing food storage lockers at campgrounds, and restoring willow and aspen
habitat. The additional revenue will also help us address the park’s $84 million deferred
maintenance backlog on projects such as rehabilitating numerous trails like the Onahu
Trail and Cub Lake Trail, renovating restroom facilities, replacing a failing septic system
at Timber Creek Campground, and mitigating beetle-killed hazard trees in or near park
facilities such as picnic areas and trailheads.”

National parks have experienced record breaking visitation, with more than 1.5 billion
visitors in the last five years. Rocky’s 2017 visitation alone was 4.4 million visitors,
making it the fourth most visited national park. Throughout the country, the combination
of aging infrastructure and increased visitation affects park roads, bridges, buildings,
campgrounds, water systems, bathrooms, and other facilities. Maintenance deferred on
these facilities amounts to $11.6 billion nationwide backlog.

Entrance fees collected by the National Park Service totaled $199.9 million in Fiscal
Year 2016. The NPS estimates that once fully implemented, the new fee structure will
increase annual entrance fee revenue by about $60 million.

Rocky Mountain National Park has had an entrance fee since 1939. The current fee rate
has been in effect since October, 2015. The park is one of 117 in the National Park
System that charges an entrance fee. The remaining 300 sites are free to enter.
The price of the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational
Lands Annual Pass and Lifetime Senior Pass will remain $80.

This is the Entrance Fee breakdown for Rocky Mountain National Park is:

  • Per vehicle Day Pass will increase from $20 to $25 on June 1, 2018
  • Per vehicle Seven-Day Pass passes will increase from $30 to $35 on June 1, 2018
  • Per person (on foot) passes will increase from $15 to $20 on June 1, 2018
  • Per motorcycle passes will increase from $25 to $30 on June 1, 2018