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Popular National Parks Get Pricier

The entrance fee to some popular national park locations will jump by 50%.

The National Park Service plans to more than double the peak-season entrance fees at 17 of its most popular parks, including Grand Canyon, Sequoia and Yosemite, as early as May 1. The proposal, which is expected to be approved by the NPS, will hike fees from about $25 or $30 per carload to $70 during the park's busiest five months.

Only 118 of the country's 417 national park sites charge an entrance fee, so most will still be free to enter. If you frequent national parks that charge admission, consider buying an annual pass ($80 at federal recreation sites or $85 at store.usgs.gov/pass). Park visitors who are 62 or older can purchase a lifetime pass for $80 in person or $90 online or by mail. Current members of the military and their dependents can receive a free annual pass by showing a military ID at a federal recreation site that issues passes.

If you visit parks with admission fees only occasionally, look for fee-free days. The National Park Service waives entrance fees several times a year at parks that charge for admission, but be prepared for crowds. To learn more, visit NPS.gov/planyourvisit.

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