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Expect to pay more to visit and camp at Death Valley National Park

Expect to pay more to visit and camp at Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is as beautiful as ever, but it'll cost you a bit more to visit when fees increase Saturaday. A photographer is shown here at the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes in the park. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Starting Saturday, you'll pay a bit more to enter and stay at Death Valley National Park. Visitor fees rise to $25 per vehicle, and campsites will cost $16 to $36, according to a park news release.

The park, which hasn't raised fees since 2006, says the extra money will be used for education programs, campground maintenance and repair projects, including fixing up Scotty's Castle.

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The 1922 landmark nicknamed for gold prospector and con man Walter E. Scott has been shut for the last year since flash floods washed through and damaged the structure. It's not expected to reopen until 2019.

The current entrance fee jumps $5. Furnace Creek Campground sites without electricity will increase from $12 to $16 in summer and from $18 to $22 in winter.

Campground sites with electricity now will cost $36 instead of $30.

Four campgrounds that don't take reservations — Emigrant, Wildrose, Thorndike and Mahogany Flat — will continue to be free.

Last October, the park received its average rainfall — about 4 inches a year -- in a day, causing flash floods that wrecked utility lines, roads and several historic structures.

The release says the park receives a federal budget of less than $9 million a year and generates more than $3 million from entrance and campground fees.

Info: Death Valley National Park, (760) 786-3200

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