Tag: Lassen

Priced Out of Nature: The High Cost of a National Park Vacation

Priced Out of Nature: The High Cost of a National Park Vacation

“$30 park fee?” That’s what my wife said after reading an article in our local newspaper about what it costs to “get in the door” at Grand Canyon National Park.

(Grand Canyon National Park Flickr Photo)
(Grand Canyon National Park Flickr Photo)

That sounded high to me, so I checked the park’s Website.

Yep, it’s $30 for a 7-day pass for a single non-commercial vehicle and its passengers.

Only staying part of one day? Just doing a “drive-thru”? It’s still $30.

Come on a motorcycle and you’ll save $5. Come on foot and keep $15 in your wallet.

Still, it seems like a grandiose fee to see that grand view.

But what about the other national parks? What are the entry fees there?

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Yellowstone: Mother of All Parks

Yellowstone: Mother of All Parks

NPS-symbol_thumb.jpgWhen I made a guest appearance last month on the award-winning NPR podcast, “Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer,” the show’s host and my travel writing colleague, Tom Wilmer, and I discussed visiting U.S. National Parks during this year’s centennial celebration of the establishment of the National Park Service.

Both the general news media and travel publications and blogs have been making much-ado about the 100th year of service by the NPS, and in honor of that agency, PBS stations have been re-running Ken Burns’ 2009 documentary series, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.

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But what may have been overlooked in the hoopla over the park service anniversary, is what made creation of that government entity necessary: The establishment of the world’s first national park, Yellowstone, decades earlier in the post-Civil War era.

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Escaping Crowds at U.S. National Parks

Escaping Crowds at U.S. National Parks

Last week I covered two new books that are sure to spur interest in visiting U.S. national parks.

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But there’s a problem with that increased interest which comes as the National Park Service celebrates its centennial: The most popular parks are already very crowded, especially in whatever is there high season.

If you are thinking about a national park vacation, how can you avoid the crowds?

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