While I was doing a little research for our active vacations – I stumbled upon quite a deal! For seniors (age 62 and older) the National Park Service offers a lifetime pass for only $10! An annual pass for non-seniors is $80 and one-time entrance fees to National Parks can range from $10-20 per person and/or per vehicle. The National Park Service has an extremely informative website with information about how to obtain a lifetime pass and Frequently Asked Questions (isn't it refreshing when websites are thorough and helpful). Appropriately titled, “America the Beautiful,” The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series, includes not only the $10 senior pass but also the:
Free Annual Pass for U.S. Military - Available to U.S. military members and dependents in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard and also, Reserve and National Guard members.
Free Access Pass - For U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities.
Free Volunteer Pass - For volunteers with 250 service hours with federal agencies that participate in the Interagency Pass Program.
Annual Pass - $80 and available to everyone.
These can be a great gifts for a retiree, mom, dad, aunt, uncle or friend! One of the best parts is that a pass covers entrance for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per vehicle fee areas (or up to four adults at sites that charge per person). So if you are under 62 but drive in with a senior pass holder – you can reap the benefits.
You can obtain a pass in person at a federal recreation site or through the mail using this application form. There are hundreds of federal recreation sites – there is likely one near you – so check out the list. If you still have questions (I did upon first read) check out the site's frequently asked questions link. It really isn't too good to be true to be 62!