TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A possible increase to Saguaro National Park's 7-Day Private Vehicle Entrance Permit is being considered and they are looking for the public's input, according to a recent release.
The increase for the 7-Day pass would be $5, raising the fee from $10 to $15. This pass admits a private vehicle and all of its occupants into SNP for one week. If approved the increase would go into effect on January 1, 2017. The last time the park increased its vehicle entry fee was in 2005.
According to the release this increase brings SNP's entry fee up to what similar national parks are charging.
"100 percent of the fees collected at Saguaro National Park, remain in the park to support visitor facilities and services," according to Park Superintendent, Darla Sidles. "This fee increase would enable the park to reduce the back log in our deferred maintenance."
The park's deferred maintenance costs have gone up since 2005, to $16 million and future projects planned for 2017. These projects include repairing Cactus Forest, Douglas Springs and Heartbreak Ridge Trails, as well as improving the Red Hills Visitor Center auditorium, in the SNP western district. The increase in user fees also support projects geared toward engaging youth throughout the park.
A 30-day public comment period began on Thursday, July 20 and will end on Monday, August 22. Comments can be sent via email to SAGU_Information@nps.gov or through the mail to:
Superintendent; Saguaro National Park
3693 South Old Spanish Trail
Tucson, AZ 85730
All comments will be evaluated to determine if the park should move forward with the proposed increase.
A long popular destination for residents and out of town visitors, SNP offers many recreational opportunities like hiking, bicycling, interpretive programs, picnicking, wilderness backpacking, scenic drives, wildlife viewing, and more. The park is committed to share its resources with the public by continuing to be an affordable option for outdoor recreation and enjoyment regardless of economic status.
For more information on Saguaro National Park click here.