Gate fee at Rocky Mountain National Park could hit $70 next year to fund long-deferred park maintenance | SummitDaily.com

Gate fee at Rocky Mountain National Park could hit $70 next year to fund long-deferred park maintenance

Higher fees at 17 busiest national parks could deliver additional an $70 million

By Jason Blevins / The Denver Post

A herd of elk get up close and provide a photo opp along the Hidden Lake trail in Rocky Mountain National Park.

A year after celebrating its 100th anniversary with record crowds, the National Park Service is proposing steep increases in entry fees at its 17 most popular parks, including more than doubling the peak-season gate fee at Rocky Mountain National Park to $70.

The "targeted fee increases" are intended to fund overdue improvements to aging infrastructure, including park roads, bridges,campgrounds, waterlines, restrooms and visitor centers in need of renovation and restoration, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said  in a statement announcing the proposal.

"We need to have the vision to look at the future of our parks and take action in order to ensure that our grandkids' grandkids will have the same if not better experience than we have today," Zinke said. "Shoring up our parks' aging infrastructure will do that.​"

Rocky Mountain National Park two years ago raised the cost of its weekly vehicle pass to $30 from $20. On Jan. 1 the park raised the annual pass fee to $60 from $50 but kept its weekly vehicle pass at $30.

Read the full story on The Denver Post, click here.