Annual park pass goes up $5, senior pass to rise $70

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The 2017 Glacier National Park annual entrance pass will see a $5 price increase from $45 last year to $50 this year.

The senior pass, which allows any senior age 62 or older entrance to any national park for the remainder of their life, is expected to rise to $80 later this year or next year, so older folks are encouraged to buy a pass now if they qualify.

The increase in that pass was part of the provision of the National Parks Centennial Act.

The Park Service did not raise any other fees in Glacier.

This year’s annual pass depicts the image of Francis X. Guardipee, the first Blackfeet Native American to serve as a ranger in Glacier National Park. Guardipee became a ranger in 1930. His duties took him throughout the Park, including Two Medicine, Nyack, and winters in East Glacier. He retired in 1948 and spent his retirement in Browning with his wife, Alma. He was a dedicated Boy Scout troop leader, and when he died in 1970, had spent more than half a century leading Boy Scout Troop 100. Chief Lodgepole Peak was named in honor of Guardipee in 1973. The peak is located on Two Medicine Pass.

In the past few years, Glacier’s annual pass has featured youth artwork.

The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act is the legislation that allows the park to collect entrance and camping fees, and retain 80 percent of the collected revenue. The remaining 20 percent is distributed throughout the National Park System. Basic park operations are funded by direct appropriations from Congress.

The funds generated by fees are used for projects that enhance visitor services and facilities, including interpretive programs at campgrounds, the backcountry campsite reservation program, repair and restoration of trails, restoration of wildlife habitat, improvement and replacement of restroom facilities, preservation and maintenance of roads, and shuttle bus operation and maintenance. For more information on entrance and camping fees, please visit https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/fees.htm.

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