Are fees to the national parks getting too high?

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Readers have reacted to This Just In's recent blog post about proposed hikes in National Park admission fees. Here are some of your comments:

"I know this site is about budget travel, but you should be pointing out what an incredible bargain the parks are, even with the fee increase, rather than whining about it. The parks are being loved to death and are in severe need of additional funding for maintenance and repair projects. Without an increase in fees, your next whine will be about the poor conditions in the parks."--anonymous reader, Oregonian

"As a big fan of our great parks, I am always concerned about maintenance. It seems like more is always needed so a hike may be justified if properly used.--Richard Reina

"Although more money is needed for the National Parks, they were established for all people regardless of ability to pay and they should have a minimal entry fee but since we already pay dearly through taxes, there should only be very small to no raises."--Earl

Meanwhile, the leading author and expert on the National Parks, Kurt Repanshek, clearly explains "the real cost of visiting a national park" in this blog post at National Parks Traveler. The money quote: "If we don't do something, it seems the Park Service chances pricing vast numbers of Americans out of the national park landscapes and experiences. And that not only will cut down on the ranks of park advocates, but it will surely increase the costs for those few who can afford the price. And where will that leave the parks?"

By the way, you can discuss this issue with Kurt--as well as ask other questions about how to plan a visit to a national park--in a live chat at on Tuesday, May 22. You can submit your questions now by clicking here.

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