The National Park Service is considering a plan that may double or even triple the entrance fee to some of America’s finest national parks. Visitors to the Grand Canyon, for example, will have to pay $70 for a single vehicle permit, up from an already substantial $30.
We’re pleased to report that Tennessee’s national parks — including, most importantly, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park — will remain absolutely free of charge to all visitors. Park spokesperson Dana Soehn says she is “not aware of any initiatives to explore entrance fees in the Smokies at this time.”
Remarkably, the GSMNP has always offered free admission. According to the National Park Service, the state of Tennessee agreed to transfer ownership of the land to the federal government with an important stipulation, namely, “no toll or license feel shall ever be imposed [to travel through the park].”
For this reason, if the federal government wanted to start charging an entrance fee to the GSMNP, the Tennessee state legislature would have to lift the deed restriction via government action. In other words, it ain’t happening any time soon.
Are you planning on visiting the Smoky Mountains in 2018? It’s never too early to book a white water rafting trip. Give us a call at 866-333-RAFT, or make your reservation online.