America The Beautiful Park Pass Implemented

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Gary RV_Wizard

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The America The Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation Pass Program [finally] went into effect Jan 1 of this year. The program, which replaces all existing National Park, Forest Service and Golden Age/Access/Eagle pass programs, was discussed extensively here over a year ago when the legislation was enacted, but the long delay in implementation has probably let most people forget about it.

In a nutshell, existing Golden Age and Golden Access holders can exchange to the new card for free. Those who wish to join the program for the first time pay will $80 for an annual pass, or a one time fee of $10 for a Senior (over 62) Pass and nothing for a Disability Pass. Card holders get free admission to parks and lands where there is a per person or per vehicle admission fee or a "Standard Amenity" fee. Senior and Disability Pass holders also get a 50% discount on most "Extended Amenity Fees", including camping.

Here's the scoop on the program from the National Park Service web site - America The Beautiful Pass Program
 

Jim Dick

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Gary,

I just read the details of the new pass program. It appears only "paper" Golden Age and  Access passes will be replaced. All others will continue to be honored so we don't have to change anything.
 

Wendy

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The paper passes will continue to be honored. You can replace them for free with the new plastic ones if you want to. I know my paper pass number by heart and prefer not to change.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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As Wendy says, the old paper passes will be exchanged for free, but will still be honored if you want to keep them. If you already have a plastic Golden Age/Access card, then there is a charge for the exchange, but you can just keep on using it as is. There is no requirement to exchange for the new pass.
 

blueblood

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RV Roamer said:
As Wendy says, the old paper passes will be exchanged for free, but will still be honored if you want to keep them. If you already have a plastic Golden Age/Access card, then there is a charge for the exchange, but you can just keep on using it as is. There is no requirement to exchange for the new pass.

The change is painless. I just drove up to window at station in Yellowstone and handed them my Golden Age pass and they gave me a new one to sign on back -done.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I paid another $10 for the new pass and kept my Golden Age. I figured the $10 was cheap insurance that I would retain the full benefits of the GA pass rather than maybe having them with the new one.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I think anyone can buy the America the Beautiful park pass for $80. No camping benefits, but it gives you free admittance to all national parks and that is no small piece of change if you like to visit the parks.
 

blueblood

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RV Roamer said:
I paid another $10 for the new pass and kept my Golden Age. I figured the $10 was cheap insurance that I would retain the full benefits of the GA pass rather than maybe having them with the new one.

The ranger said if the GA pass had any sentimental value I could keep it - no cost either way.
 

Wendy

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Ron said:
Sounds like Gary spent $10 bucks he didn't need to. :( :(

It might be worth the $10 to have 2 of the GA cards, one in the RV and one in the toad or in your wallet. I lost my Golden Access card and got a replacement (free) then found the "lost" one so now I have 2 and can keep them in 2 separate places so that hopefully I'll always have one with me.

Wendy
 

SCR

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In the FWIW department.

The new passes are not available at the Corps of Engineers Campgrounds or offices. For some reason, unknown to me as to why, the Corps was not included for the sale of the Access or Senior passes. However, the Corps still honors all passes, Golden age/access and the new ones at a 50% discount for the pass holder.

I suggest you read and compare the back of the cards. There is a difference. I would not be any hurry to replace the original Golden age/access Pass if not necessary. The plastic and paper Golden Age/Access passes have the same verbiage. The new America the Beautiful Access and Senior passes are different. Read it carefully.

s.

 

JM

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RV Roamer said:
I think anyone can buy the America the Beautiful park pass for $80. No camping benefits, but it gives you free admittance to all national parks and that is no small piece of change if you like to visit the parks.

I work in this area of discussion. The Interagency pass will not provide overnight camping but in many areas will allow day use in camp sites and covers everything the Adventure Pass Covers.

Yes, anyone can buy an America the Beautiful Pass. You can purchase it over the phone and have it mailed to you.

Also, here is a tip for those in areas that use the Adventure Passes. If you are in an area where you recreate locally, and you purchase the Yearly Adventure Pass,$30.00 also get a Second Vehile Pass $5.00. It is the same as the Annual Pass and it is not attached to a licence plate # so you can give it as a gift to a recreating buddy if you don't need it for the second vehile.
 

Jeff

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JM said:
I work in this area of discussion.........

Also, here is a tip for those in areas that use the Adventure Passes. If you are in an area where you recreate locally, and you purchase the Yearly Adventure Pass,$30.00 also get a Second Vehile Pass $5.00. It is the same as the Annual Pass and it is not attached to a licence plate # so you can give it as a gift to a recreating buddy if you don't need it for the second vehile.

JM:

Is that legal?
 

JM

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Jeff Cousins said:
JM:

Is that legal?

Of course it is. Many people have second vehicles or travel and recreate with a friend. I think it's nice that they understand that people don't always take one vehicle. Many people take the adult kids hiking, fishing, biking for father son time and it's great that dad can give the son a pass. Yes it is legal. Of course. I work doing this for a living. The reason it is not attached to your plate is . One, people rent cars, the pass covers your parking. People go out as a family in one members car. Goups like Sierra club may buy 30 passes for all the members. What if you buy a new car? yadayada
 

Wendy

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But aren't you, as an individual or family, buying the 2 passes for you, the individual or family? Isn't that second placard supposed to be used for you and/or your family? Not to give away to someone else to use, friend or otherwise? Sort of like getting a second handicap placard to use when YOU're in different vehicle?

And aren't the Adventure Passes for certain USFS areas? While the America the Beautiful pass is good all over the country at NPS, USPS, USGS, COE and others?

No matter what, the America the Beautiful pass is a great deal if you're going to stop at more than a couple of federal recreation sites.

Wendy
NPS VIP, wife of retired NPS ranger
 

JM

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wendycoke said:
But aren't you, as an individual or family, buying the 2 passes for you, the individual or family? Isn't that second placard supposed to be used for you and/or your family? Not to give away to someone else to use, friend or otherwise? Sort of like getting a second handicap placard to use when YOU're in different vehicle?

And aren't the Adventure Passes for certain USFS areas? While the America the Beautiful pass is good all over the country at NPS, USPS, USGS, COE and others?

No matter what, the America the Beautiful pass is a great deal if you're going to stop at more than a couple of federal recreation sites.

Wendy
NPS VIP, wife of retired NPS ranger

I understand what your saying. You are correct and for people in So. CA Annual Adventure Passes are used widely because so many people recreate within an 1/2 hr to 1 hr. from home. I see hear what your saying- but the adventure pass covers parking your car whether you are in it or not. Just to park your car in a lot and go take a hike, you need the pass in your car, so no it has nothing to do with the person-see? This is often asked to be explained because of the differences. The America the Beautiful Pass is the best- because not only does it cover the gate fees but also covers what the Adventure Pass Covers. Look at it like the Adventure Pass is a parking pass.
 

prevostman

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Gold Access Permits are available in most National Parks simply by means of presenting rangers with some form of identification.  These passess will allow coach owners to access National Parks at reduced rates and in some cases also all owners to get on BLM properties.  Many of you probably already know that, but just thought it might be useful information for the new coach owner.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The  "Golden" passes (Age & Access) are no more, prevostman. The America the Beautiful program replaced them with the new passes, which don't use the term "Golden" anymore.

And Gold Access required proof of disability, not just an ID. I suspect you are referring to the standard National Parks pass, which is now called the America The Beautiful pass and covers all federal facilities and costs $80 unless you are over 62 or disabled.

For complete details see NAtional Park Passes
 
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