Important Information: Senior Lifetime Pass for National Parks increases from $10 to $80 August 27, 2017. If you are 62 or older, buy your pass before August 27, 2017. The lifetime pass increases from $10 to $80 in one month.
If you have a current lifetime Senior Pass, you may continue to use. If you lose it, you will need to replace it at the new fee.
Best way now to get the Senior Pass
The increase announcement has caused a backlog of mail and online purchases. The ideal way to obtain the pass before the increase is to visit your nearest Federal park facility. Follow this link to find your nearest National parks by states. You will need to provide a photo ID, driver’s license or passport.
Question: How much does a National Park pass for seniors usually cost?
The Senior Pass is available either by mail or in person at many federal recreational sites. The mail-in application requires an extra $10 document-processing fee. To find site locations or mailing information, Web users can click Buy Recreation Passes at USGS.gov.
At vehicle-fee sites, Senior Pass holders and their passengers in non-commercial vehicle can enter for free. At sites that charge per person, the Senior Pass allows up to three other people in the pass holder’s vehicle to enter the site for free.
U.S. citizens or permanent residents of age 62 or older are eligible for a senior pass. The pass provides access to over 2,000 sites. Pass holders are eligible for discounts on other amenities, including guided tours and campsite fees. The pass comes in the form of a hang tag, which can be displayed on the dashboard or rear-view mirror of a closed vehicle or as a decal for use in open-top vehicles.
To repeat; If you have a current lifetime Senior Pass, you may continue to use. If you lose it, you will need to replace it at the new fee. So hang on to it!
Question: How do you get a senior discount pass for state parks?
Policies on senior discounts for state parks vary by state. In most states, a discount pass is available to those age 62 or older. Usually these passes can be purchased by mail or through the state’s Parks and Recreation website. Check this link to ensure that the quoted amounts are still valid.
As an example, in California, seniors can get discounts at state parks simply by showing their valid photo ID. The “Golden Bear Pass” is available to seniors receiving SSI or CalWorks aid. This pass costs only five dollars for each calendar year and allows the bearer and their spouse entry to most state parks without having to pay a vehicle usage fee.
Vermont’s “Green Mountain Passport” is available to seniors who are Vermont residents for only two dollars. This pass provides free day use for life to seniors aged 62 or older and to honorably discharged military veterans.
Seniors aged 65 or older in Missouri only need to show their valid photo ID at campsites to get a discount of two dollars per night.
Find additional questions and answers about the increased fee.
For more questions and answers on the new fee increase follow this link, USGS Update
Questions about why the fee jumped and information about other benefits included with the Senior Pass are discussed.
My recent story about National Park passes
We are visiting Rocky Mountain National Park at the end of the summer. I checked back to my previous National Park article, went to USGS and was surprised to find the increase.
I visited the National listing for parks in each state (link above) and found the nearest location to me in Florida. Called the number to confirm that Senior passes were available, what they required for identification and their hours.
We drove to J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and purchased our passes in the Nature Gift Store. They looked at our photo drivers licenses took our $10 per pass and issued us our cards.
The transaction took five minutes. While there, we used our passes to do the driving tour through the beautiful refuge. Everyone was pleasant and helpful.
Get your pass as soon as possible. Remember, If you lose it, you will need to replace it at the new fee. So hang on to it!