Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Get a $10 Lifetime Senior Pass to U.S. National Parks

One of the best senior travel bargains anywhere is a low-cost lifetime national park pass that admits seniors free of charge to most U.S. national parks, forests, refuges, monuments and recreation areas, from Denali National Park in Alaska to the Florida Everglades.
Senior Pass Eligibility
As part of the American the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass program, U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are at least 62 years old can purchase a Senior Pass for a one-time processing fee of $10. This Senior Pass to national parks and lands offers benefits to you and your traveling companions.
Senior Pass to National Parks Benefits
  • In National Parks that charge an entrance or standard amenity fee, the Senior Pass admits you and the passengers in your car or other private vehicle.
  • In National Parks where a "per person" entrance fee is charged, the Senior Pass admits you plus three other adults (who need not be seniors). This is an especially good deal if you are also traveling with grandchildren, because children under 16 have free admission.
  • The lifetime national parks Senior Pass also gives seniors a 50 percent discount on federal use fees charged for camping, swimming, boat launching, parking and tours.
  • In some cases where use fees are charged, only the person named on the Senior Pass will be given the 50 percent discount.
  • The senior pass is non-transferable and does not cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or concession fees charged by private companies.
How to Buy a National Parks Lifetime Senior Pass
The Senior Pass to national parks cannot be purchased by mail or online. It must be purchased in person at a federal area where entrance fees are charged, or at regional offices of the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Proof of age, such as a valid driver's license, is required at the time you purchase your senior pass.
For more information about the National Parks Lifetime Senior Pass, call the National Park Service at 1-888-ASK-USGS.
Other Park Passes from the National Park Service
  • Access Pass: A Free Pass for People with Disabilities
    The Access Pass is a special permit for people of any age who are medically determined to be blind or have other permanent disabilities. It offers the same benefits as the Senior Pass, but it is completely free. No processing fee is charged for the Access Pass.
    Like the Senior Pass to national parks, the Access Pass cannot be purchased by mail or online. It must be obtained in person at a federal area where an entrance fee is charged.
    To qualify for the free Access Pass to national parks, you will need to provide one of the following: a statement from a licensed physician, a document issued by a Federal agency such as the Veteran's Administration, proof of Social Security Disability Income or Supplemental Security Income, or a document issued by a state agency such as a vocational rehabilitation agency.
  • A One-Year National Parks Pass for People Under Age 62
    If you are under age 62 and do not qualify for a Senior Pass to national parks, you can still save money by purchasing an Annual Pass, which costs $80 and is good for one year from the date of purchase.
    At national parks, monuments and recreation areas that charge a per-vehicle fee, the Annual Pass to national parks admits you and your passengers free of charge.
    Where a per-person fee is charged, the pass admits you plus three other adults (children under 16 are admitted free).
    There are three ways to purchase an Annual Pass to U.S. National Parks:
    • In person at a national park that charges an entrance fee
    • Online from the National Park Service Annual Pass site
    • By calling 1-888-ASK-USGS, Ext. 1
  • Free Pass to National Parks for Volunteers
    If you enjoy the national parks and want to help out, become a volunteer and get an annual pass for free. You'll receive the same discounts and national park benefits as the Annual Pass described above, but the Volunteer Pass is free to volunteers who provide 500 hours of cumulative service.

    For more information about the Volunteer Pass to our national parks, call 1-888-ASK-USGS.