Glacier National Park will double the cost of its seven-day entrance pass beginning Jan. 1, the first increase in entrance fees in seven years, the park's superintendent said.
Mick Holm said park officials won approval from the National Park Service to increase the seven-day pass fee from $10 to $20, and to increase the cost of the annual pass from $20 to $25. Fees for camping and other activities in the park remained unchanged.
"Our entrance fees have remained steady for seven years and the costs of programs and projects continue to increase," Holm said in a written statement.
He said the higher fees bring Glacier more in line with what other national parks in the region charge. Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Grand Canyon and Zion national parks all charge $20 for a seven-day pass.
Holm said the $25 fee for an annual pass is still considerably cheaper than the $40 charged at other national parks.
"We hope that residents in Montana and the surrounding region will see the value in Glacier's $25 annual pass, and thereby realize a significant break on the cost of visiting the park multiple times" during a given year, he said.
The increases will help raise money for a number of park improvement projects, including new interpretive sites, trail rehabilitation and upgrading the radio system.
In 1996, Congress authorized the Park Service to begin an experimental "fee demonstration project" in which 100 parks and recreational areas, including Glacier, were allowed to set their own fees and keep 80% of the money raised.
Before that, park fees went directly to the U.S. Treasury, and the parks had to operate on what Congress appropriated.