According to a news release from Rocky Mountain National Park, there may soon be an increase on its entrance fees. And while no one's going to be really stoked about that, here's why. 

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Northern Colorado's own gem, Rocky Mountain National Park, is one of the most-visited national parks in the entire country, behind only Zion National Park, Yellowstone National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2020. With the millions of visitors — we're talking 3.3 million in 2020 — that it sees annually (and damage from natural events), comes maintenance and repairs, and a lot of it. Someone's gotta foot the bill for that, considering 80 percent of fees will go directly to the park.

Proposed changes from the National Park Service include a $5 hike in day passes, going from $25 per day to $30 per day, however weekly and yearly passes will remain the same ($35 and $70, respectively).

Additionally, Rocky Mountain National Park has proposed increases on camping fees, increasing summer camping fees from $30 to $35. Winter camping fees could make a $15 jump, from $20 to $35 per night, and group site fees would increase $10, ranging from $50 to $70 per night.

What will that extra money go to? The National Park Service says:

  • Hazard tree mitigation (you can thank the beetles for that)
  • Hiking trail repairs and improvements (more toilets, y'all)
  • Wilderness campsite improvements
  • Bear management (you don't want them unmanaged)
  • Restoration of the historic rock walls along Trail Ridge Road

The National Park Service understands that the public may have some feelings about this, which is why they are accepting comments about the proposed changes until January 7, here.

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Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

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