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ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) — Both Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks have reported a record number of visitors for 2017.

The Spectrum reported Thursday that Zion National Park saw more than 4.5 million visitors last year, which is up 5 percent from 2016. While Bryce Canyon National Park recorded 2.6 million visitors — a 9-percent increase.

The figures come just as park service officials are considering a controversial fee hike and a potential online reservation system for Zion.

The National Park Service released a plan this fall recommending that entrance fees more than double during the peak season at some of the nation’s most popular parks.

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The idea has been controversial, however, with opponents arguing it would price out lower-income Americans and make only a small impact on a growing maintenance backlog.


Information from: The Spectrum,