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Here you’ll find links to, or information about, current topics in the national parks and National Park Service including: You can also explore more sources of news and learn how to subscribe to news releases.

Infrastructure and the Maintenance Backlog

Maintaining the roads and bridges, visitor centers, historic buildings, trails, and campgrounds that make parks such incredible places to visit is an enormous task. Over the years, aging facilities, growing visitation, and limited resources have made that task even harder, resulting in a backlog of maintenance work.

Learn more about the maintenance backlog across the National Park System, including the current status and how we identify and report deferred maintenance.

The proposed Fiscal Year 2019 budget includes legislation to establish a Public Lands Infrastructure Fund that would help address the maintenance backlog.

Visitation

In 2017, nearly 331 million people visited the national parks. The official count was 330,882,751 recreation visits, almost identical to the record-setting 330,971,689 recreation visits in 2016. While numbers were steady, visitors actually spent more time in parks during their 2017 visits compared to 2016. Learn more about visitation in 2017, including park milestones and the top 10 most-visited parks.

Changing Entrance Fees at Parks to Address Infrastructure Needs

On April 12, 2018, the National Park Service announced changes to the entrance fees charged at 117 national parks as part of its ongoing efforts to address aging park infrastructure that is critical to the visitor experience. The changes were implemented in many of the parks that charge entrance fees beginning June 1, 2018. More than two-thirds of national parks will remain free to enter.

In response to public comments received regarding a fee proposal released in October 2017, there will be a modest increase for all fee-charging parks, rather than the higher peak-season fees initially proposed only for 17 highly visited national parks. In November 2017, the NPS extended the original 30-day public comment period by an additional 30 days to accommodate the more than 100,000 comments submitted by the public on the proposal. This new fee structure addresses many of the concerns and ideas provided by the public regarding how to best address fee revenue for parks.

The price of the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes will remain the same.

See a complete list of park entrance fees and learn more about how entrance fees are used to improve the visitor experience.

Backhoe digging up ground in national park
Entrance fees are used for projects that improve the visitor experience.

NPS photo

Park Topics

Federal Register Notices

The Federal Register is the official “newspaper” of the federal government. It contains presidential documents and rules and regulations, proposed rules, and notices for executive agencies, such as the Department of the Interior, and their bureaus. Visit the National Register to view documents on publication, significant documents, and recently published documents for the National Park Service.

Last updated: August 13, 2018