United States National Parks’ Pass

The national parks present in the United States are one of the biggest attractions. They offer a wide range of activities like trekking, hiking, animal watching or if you just want to spend some time with nature, away from the busy life of the city. These parks offer something for everyone and are often visited. Some of these parks have a minimum entrance fee for four-wheeler, but if you regularly visit these parks and are a true admirer of the beauty of nature, then the united states national park’s pass is perfect for you.

What is the US National Parks’ Annual Pass?

This pass offers free access to nearly 2000 recreation sites! It covers the entrance fee and allows the passage of four individuals in a private vehicle. This pass allows regular visitors to gain the most without having to spend too much. 

One pass can grant access to two people and it is not necessary that they have to be related. There are three different types of passes, you can select any according to what fits your criteria:

  1. Annual pass: This pass is for anyone above the age of 16 and below 62. It includes the entrance fee to most of the national parks and recreational sites, the entrance fee is not only for one person but it counts all the people in a vehicle who are above the age of 15.
  2. Lifetime senior pass: This pass is for anyone over the age of 62. It allows lifetime access to any of the recreational sites. An annual pass is also present for senior citizens.
  3. Free national park pass: There are many criteria to qualify for this pass, below are the criteria for Free National Park Pass in US
  • Military families get free passes, you just need to show some ID proof at the site where they physically give out passes. They usually have free military passes but it is still better to call and check once if it is a long drive.
  • Fourth graders all over America also have free access to these parks, they just need to do some activities on the ‘every kid in a park website’. The vouchers obtained, from completing these exercises, can be exchanged for the annual pass. The important thing to note here is they need to be physically present to collect the pass.
  • Permanently disabled Americans also can obtain the annual pass for free.
  • Volunteers in these national parks can get free passes, but you need to complete 250 hours of volunteering to be eligible for a free pass next year.

How much does national parks pass costs?

The annual pass costs $80, it is available for everyone from 16 to the age of 62.

The senior pass is available for citizens above the age of 62, there are two passes included in it:

  • Annual pass- this pass is for 1 year and costs $20.
  • Lifetime pass – this pass is eligible for an entire lifetime and this costs only $80.

How much does national parks pass costs for seniors?

There are two types of passes present for senior citizens. Anyone over the age is 62 is eligible for this pass. Documentation that proves age is needed at the time of purchase of the pass. 

The lifetime pass is for $80 and the yearly pass is for $20.

 Moreover the senior citizen pass also avails a 50% discount on some of the amenities provided by the national park. 

How to renew national parks pass

To renew the pass you simply need to visit the government national park website and click on renew pass. It will redirect you to a page where you just need to select which kind of pass you want and pay online. The pass usually is delivered within 30 days. In the meantime entry into these parks are granted through the payment receipt

How to use national parks pass

It is important to carry the pass with you if it needs to be used. The pass just needs to be shown to the person in charge and you will be given access to the park.

Where to buy national parks pass

There are three ways to obtain the different types of passes:

  1. In-person: this is the easiest, cheapest and fastest way to obtain the pass. It is the perfect and only way to purchase it last minute. You just need to go to the site or office where they sell the pass and buy it. But, make sure you call in advance to check the availability of the pass.
  2. Online: The pass is available online on the official USGS store. You can go on the website and select whichever pass fits your requirement. Although there is an additional $10 convenience fee.
  3. Mail: all you need to do is mail them the request for a pass, you need to stick some age proof with it. There is also a $10 convenience fee with this method.

Does the national parks pass work with all the national parks?

The pass covers around 2000 recreational sites but it does not include privately owned facilities or parks.

 Some of the parks also do not accept the pass. In these places there is usually a sign indicating the unacceptance of the pass, it is always better to call in advance to make sure if they accept the pass.

Does annual national park pass include camping

The pass covers only entrance fees of the vehicle, it does not include activities like camping, lodging, swimming, fishing, etc.

Is buying a National Parks Pass worth?

Yes, it is worth buying a pass, especially if you are a regular visitor or you intend to visit many of them. Each park has a different entrance fee on vehicles but they range from $5-$20 per person, on top of that some parks also ask for an entrance fee per person. The pass will definitely save you around $100.

US National Parks Pass

USA National Parks Pass Guide
USA National Parks Pass Guide