Pinnacles proposes phased-in fee increases

Public comment on the proposed hikes accepted through Jan. 4

Pinnacles National Park will be holding open forums to discuss possible fee increases from 2015 through 2019. The current park entrance fees have been in place since August 2014.The National Park Service is proposing to increase the entrance fees as follows:

Per person (Entry valid for 7 days) from – $5 to $10 in 2015 and $12 by 2017

Per motorcycle (Entry valid for 7 days) from $10 to $15 in 2015 and $20 in 2017

Per vehicle (Entry valid for 7 days) from $10 to $15 in August 2015 to $20 in 2017 and to $25 in 2019

Park annual pass (Entry valid for one year from date of purchase) from $15 to $25 in 2015 to $35 in 2017 and $50 in 2019

Park officials say these rates will bring the park in line with other, similar national parks.

Entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years of age or holders of the Interagency Annual Pass or Federal Recreational Senior, Access, or Military Passes. These passes may be obtained at the park.

"We recognize the need to keep the park experience affordable while at the same time balancing the need to improve the park facilities," said Pinnacles National Park Superintendent Karen Beppler-Dorn. "The money from the most recent fee increase was used to implement a shuttle system throughout the park.Increasing entrance fees will be used for improvements at the park in visitor facilities such as restrooms, campgrounds, a visitor center, and improved trail signage."

Other projects that have been completed as a result of fee money include: Trail improvements on the High Peaks Trail, new road signs, and rehabilitation of resource damage.

In 2013, more than 237,677 park visitors contributed $13 million to the local economy and supported 158 jobs related to tourism, according to park officials.

Comments on the fee increases may be posted on the park's Facebook page.Comment cards will also be available at park visitor centers. Comments may be directed to the park Public Affairs Officer Jan Lemons by email or 831-389-4486, extension 237.

Following the public engagement, feedback will determine how, or if, a fee increase would be implemented. A public meeting was held Dec. 2 in PinnaclesNational Park Campground Amphitheatre and comments will be accepted via telephone, online, and in person until Jan. 4, 2015.

Information About the Updated Entrance Fee Rate Schedule

The National Park Service has updated the current entrance fee schedule, which has not changed since 2008. Currently, 131 of the 401 National Park Service units collect entrance fees.

Beginning in 2015, parks are authorized to change their recreation fee rates to align with the new rate schedule, after they have actively engaged the public and stakeholders about proposed changes and impacts.The decision to adjust fees will be made locally, with input from local communities, to ensure that the fee increases are implemented in a way that works best for parks and visitors.

As part of the civic engagement required for this fee change, parks will communicate directly with their Congressional delegations, local and state governmental and non-governmental contacts, key stakeholders and the public.


BenitoLink Staff