Padre Island National Seashore to raise entrance fees

Posted at 11:49 AM, May 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-15 12:49:10-04

For the first time in nearly twenty years, fees at the Padre Island National Seashore will be raised to help provide additional visitor services.

According to PINS, the fee increase will go into effect on June 1.  A list of the new Padre Island National Seashore park fees is shown below:

Entrance Fees 

Newly Approved User Fee

Single Vehicle (1-Day Pass)

$10 (a new fee based on public comments)

Single Vehicle (7-Day Pass)


Annual Pass


Individual (7-Day Pass)


Motorcycle (7-Day Pass)


Commercial tour flat rate fees would remain at current rates. The following interagency passes would remain at current rates: Annual ($80), Senior Annual ($20), Senior Lifetime ($80), Access (Free), and Active Duty Military (Free).

According to PINS, 80 percent of the funds collected at the park entrance are used at the park. The remaining twenty percent of the money goes to national park sites that do not charge fees to help them pay for needed improvements. All of the money is used to specifically address visitor needs.

Entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years of age or holders of America the Beautiful recreation passes, such as the Interagency Annual, Senior, Access, Active Duty Military, or Volunteer Passes. These passes may be obtained at the park.

Amenity Fees (Additional Charges)

Boat Launch Ramp Fees

Newly Approved User Fee

Daily Boat Ramp


Annual Boat Ramp


Camping Fees Per Night

Newly Approved User Fee

Malaquite Campground (1-6 people)


Bird Island Basin Campground (1-6 people)


In recent months, PINS says, fee dollars have been used at the Malaquite Visitor Center to open a new education center which serves thousands of students each year. Other projects paid for with entrance fee funds include a wildlife viewing station, new public restrooms throughout the park, repairs to the Novillo Line Camp structures, and phase one of the shoreline stabilization at the Bird Island Basin Campground.

PINS says funds collected in upcoming months will be used to fund new exhibits at the visitor center, repair the visitor center deck and boardwalk area and to continue boat ramp improvements.

“We are committed to providing visitors with updated and well maintained amenities as well as the best possible experience,” said Padre Island National Seashore Superintendent Mark Spier. “The money from camping, entrance, and boat ramp fees is used to improve facilities, infrastructure and visitor services.”

Padre Island National Seashore is a strong economic engine for the surrounding area. In 2017, more than 650,000 park visitors contributed 27.4 million dollars to the local economy and supported 376 jobs related to tourism.

Across the nation, parks generated the greatest benefits to the lodging sector. They received the highest direct contributions with $5.5 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 49,000 jobs. The restaurants sector received the next greatest direct contributions with $3.7 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 60,500 jobs.