The National Park Service (NPS) announced today that Shenandoah National Park will modify its entrance fees beginning June 1, 2018 to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance needs that enhance the visitor experience. Effective June 1, 2018 the park entrance fee will be $30 per vehicle, $25 per motorcycle and $15 per person. These fees are good for 7 days. An annual park pass will cost $55.
In October 2017, the NPS proposed a plan to adopt seasonal pricing at Shenandoah 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. Here in Shenandoah National Park, 80 percent of entrance fees stay in the park and are devoted to spending that supports the visitor. We share the other 20 percent of entry fee income with other national parks for their projects.
The additional revenue from entrance fees at Shenandoah National Park will allow us to address deferred maintenance projects such as rebuilding deteriorating rock walls on Skyline Drive, replacing picnic tables and fire rings in campgrounds and picnic areas, repairing masonry structures and drainage culverts along Skyline Drive, repaving and repainting the lines on Skyline Drive and other park roads, clearing vistas at overlooks, maintaining hiking and horse trails, preserving historic buildings, improving signs and exhibits, providing upgrades to our public water and wastewater systems and providing accessibility modifications.
Superintendent Jennifer Flynn stated “The additional fees will enhance all aspects of the visitor experience in Shenandoah. Visitors will directly see improvements at our contact stations, on Skyline Drive, on trails, in our campgrounds and picnic areas and at our visitor centers. We are committed to providing a safe and rewarding experience for all visitors.”
National parks have experienced record breaking visitation, with more than 1.5 billion visitors in the last five years. 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 an $11.6 billion nationwide backlog.
Shenandoah National Park has had an entrance fee since 1939. The current rate of $25 per vehicle, $20 per motorcycle and $10 per person has been in effect since 2017. The park is one of 117 in the National Park System that charges an entrance fee. The remaining 300 sites are free to enter.