The fee for car access goes from $15 to $20, and camping also will cost more. However, annual or lifetime passes can cut the cost significantly.
Going to Mount Rainier National Park? You’ll pay more, just in time for Memorial Day weekend.
Entrance and camping fees will increase May 22, said park superintendent Randy King. However, some fee increases are lower than originally planned for the next year after the park received many comments from the public after the increases were proposed last fall.
Many other parks (including Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Olympic national parks) also plan to increase entrance fees, which have been mostly unchanged since 2006. Most national parks, including Rainier, have had to cut back on maintenance, resource protection and visitor-service improvements because of a lack of funds.
Here are some of the changes:
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Single vehicle entry: Rainier’s single vehicle rate will increase from $15 to $20 on May 22 for a driver and the passengers in his/her vehicle. It will rise to $25 per car in May 2016. The pass is good for unlimited entry for seven consecutive days.
Camping: Fess for individual camp sites will be $20 as of May 22 (currently $12 to $15). Group sites will increase to $60 per night (currently $40 to $64 for 25 to 40 people). The camping rates will not increase in 2016.
Walk up, bike fee: It increases from $5 to $10.
Get fee details at nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/fees.htm
The good news? Various annual or lifetime passes are available that, for those who visit national parks regularly, can significantly cut the entrance fee.
The Mount Rainier annual pass gives unlimited entry for one year to the pass owner and passengers in the same vehicle. Currently it costs $30. That increases to $40 on May 22 and $50 in May 2016.
The Interagency Annual Pass costs $80 a year (it is not going up this year) and gives access to national parks, national forests, national monuments and other federal lands. It covers the pass-holder (and each annual pass can have two owners and you don’t have to be related to share it) and all passengers in his/her car.
The Senior Pass is a major benefit for those getting older. People aged 62 and up can get a lifetime pass that functions like the Interagency pass, giving access to national parks, national forests and more. The Access Pass is a free lifetime pass for those with a permanent disability. There also are free U.S. military passes and free volunteer passes.
Get details on annual/lifetime passes at nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm