National Park passes

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Jan 13, 2005
Our national parks are a treasure. We've visited a number, some more than once, and the entrance fee is well worth it. If you plan to visit several NPs in a given year, the annual pass is a good deal at $80. If you already paid the entrance fee for a park, you'll get a credit towards the price of an annual pass.

If you're 62 or older, you qualify for the lifetime pass; It costs just $10 plus a $10 handling fee. Mine arrived in the mail while we were on vacation last week.

More information on National Park passes here.
And if you're disabled, receiving federal disability money of some sort, you may qualify for the Access card which is free and gets you the same bennies as the senior card.
I agree Tom. It's well worth the money, even at $80 if you plan to be near at least a few of the National Parks, National Monuments or Historic Sites in your travels. In the last two years I've definitely gotten my money's worth many times over. Been to Everglades NP, Saguaro NP, Canyonlands NP, Arches NP, Casa Grande Ruins Nat Monument, Yellowstone and many others. Can't beat it with a wooden stick!
Wendy said:
And if you're disabled, receiving federal disability money of some sort, you may qualify for the Access card which is free and gets you the same bennies as the senior card.

Wendy, don't have to be receiving disability money.....just have to be legally physically handicapped (mobility impeded). 

Although nobody could ever look at me and be able to tell, I'm legally handicapped due to a titanium hip, knee and nerve damage (all due to an accident) in my left leg and foot.  Much of the time it doesn't bother me to much but at other times the nerve damage is almost unbearable and my foot swells up often.

I have a full time job and do not receive any aide for being handicapped however, I do have a national parks Access Pass as well as a permanent state handicapped parking placard.

Glad to see they changed it to just providing some sort of proof, including doctors statements. When we were with the NPS, you had to show that you were receiving disability money. I got mine when they were first issued. Still have the paper one even tho they keep trying to get me to swap it for one of the newer ones. It's a great thing they do for folks and a handy card to have.

Not sure when it changed.  I've had mine for about seven years. 

Yes, very well worth it and I about wear mine out!  ;)
I spent several hundred dollars last year and this year after turning 62 - when I was at the National Bison Range in Montana I bought my senior pas for $10.00 and have since visited the Bison Range, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, Arches, Canyonlands and Zions since October of this year and plans to visit many more and the $10.00 for a lifetime is the buy of the century!

Buy one...


We traveled with the in laws in the 80s and they had the passport.  Never had to pay admission.  Guess we saved a lot of money six of us in a 24ft class Coachman Lep. A little crowded but we have great memories.

Another thing to consider is joining one of the National Park Associations. At Yellowstone you will get 25% off your first purchase in the non profit bookstore and an average of 15% in most other National Park non profit stores. Also in Yellowstone you will get a 15% discount in the gift shops and general stores within Yellowstone.

Most National Parks will have a non profit Association and have similar benefits. I don't think most include gift shops but some might. Also, some State Parks, mostly in CA, will also give a discount along with some Historical Associations throughout the country.

The nice thing about joining an Association is the profits all come back to the park for education, preservation, and research. The donation is also tax deductible. Check with whatever park you enjoy!
One other benifit of the Senior Pass is that all federally managed campgrounds (Park Service, Forest Service, BLM and COE) are half price.  Campgrounds managed by vendors are not reduced (
i know Fishing Bridge and The one with hook ups at Grand Canyon do not honor the card.

Not all COE campgrounds give the discount. And many vendor operated federal campgrounds do give the discount. The hookup campground at Grand Canyon isn't a federal CG.

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