SALT LAKE CITY — The National Park Service announced Tuesday it will reduce the number of free entrance days at national parks to four in 2018, down from 16 in 2016 and 10 in 2017.
The free days will be on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 15), the first day of National Park Week (April 21), National Public Lands Day (Sept. 22) and Veterans Day (Nov. 11.) The park service’s announcement didn’t offer a reason for the cutback.
The 10 parks in Utah that will waive fees on those days include Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion national parks; Cedar Breaks, Dinosaur and Natural Bridges national monuments; Glen Canyon National Recreation Area; and Golden Spike National Historic Site.
According to the Associated Press, entrance fees of $25 or $30 per vehicle are charged at 118 of the 417 national parks. Earlier this year, the park service proposed raising the entrance fee to $70 per vehicle at 17 of the nation’s busiest parks, including Zion, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Yosemite.
The agency estimates the move would generate an additional $70 million for backlogged maintenance and infrastructure projects.
The public comment period for the proposed peak-season entrance fees as well as revised fees for road-based commercial tours will be accepted until Friday, Dec. 22.
Comments can be submitted online at parkplanning.nps.gov/proposedpeakseasonfeerates. Written comments can be sent to 1849 C Street, NW, Mail Stop: 2346 Washington, D.C. 20240.