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DENALI PARK, Alaska – The National Park Service announced today that Denali National Park and Preserve will modify its entrance fees to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance needs that enhance the visitor experience. Effective May 1, 2019, the park entrance fee will be $15 per person. For 2019 ticket sales, visits that occur on or after the effective date will be at the new rate. A Denali-specific annual pass will cost $45.
In October 2017, the NPS proposed a plan to adopt seasonal pricing at Denali and 16 other national parks to raise additional revenue for infrastructure and maintenance needs. The fee structure announced this week 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 fact, 80 percent of entrance fees stay in Denali and is devoted to spending that supports the visitor. The park shares the other 20 percent of entry fee income with other national parks.
“Fees are an important source of revenue and represent a third of the operations and maintenance budget at Denali,” said Superintendent Don Striker. “This increase will allow Denali to eliminate our non-roads maintenance backlog in five years.”
The additional revenue from entrance fees at Denali National Park and Preserve will allow the park to more quickly resolve all deferred maintenance that does not involve park roads. For example, fee revenue was used last year to install a new entrance sign and build a free-run pen at the kennels, promoting the health of the park’s sled dogs and providing a place for visitors to watch and enjoy the dogs at play.
National parks have experienced record-breaking visitation, with more than 1.5 billion visitors in the last five years. Denali welcomed more than 642,000 people to the park in 2017. 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. Denali’s backlog of $54.7 million is the highest among parks in the Alaska Region.
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.
Denali National Park and Preserve has had an entrance fee since 1988. The current rate of $10 per person has been in effect since 2011. 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.
The complete fee schedule will change according to the following:
Denali NP & P
Park Specific Annual
May 1, 2019
The Murie Science and Learning Center, which serves as the winter visitor center, is open daily from 9 am to 4:30 pm for information and backcountry permits. The Bear Loop of the Riley Creek Campground is open for free camping. A vault toilet is provided and campers can obtain water at the Murie Science and Learning Center.