MARIN COUNTY (CBS SF) – The fee to see the trees at Muir Woods National Monument in Marin County is going up in the new year.

Starting Jan. 1, the entrance fee to the national park is increasing from $5 to $7, according to the National Park Service.

The increase is an effort by the park service to keep open Mount Tamalpais and Samuel P. Taylor state parks, two California-owned parks located within its Golden Gate National Recreation Area that were slated for closure because of budget cuts.

The extra $2 per visit could bring in up to $1 million annually, according to the park service.

National park officials said the state parks serve a vital role in handling all of the parking for Muir Woods visitors, as well as overseeing hiking trails that are accessed through the national park lands.

“Muir Woods, Golden Gate and Mt. Tamalpais State Park are inextricably linked,” GGNRA Superintendent Frank Dean said in a statement.

“Increasing the fee at Muir Woods has its drawbacks, especially as we continue to strive to reach wider audiences and welcome more visitors, but still is worth making a modest increase if that means we can keep other important park resources and experiences in Marin open and protected,” Dean said.

The fee is for visitors who are 16 years and older who do not hold one of the designated national or state park passes. Children ages 15 years and under get into the park for free.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



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