Frugal Living / Outdoor Seattle

$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.  There are 15 national parks in Washington State and there are 394 national parks spread across the US.

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, and the three other adults who are with you do not need not to 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.  The caution is that 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.

 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

3 Comments

  1. That’s an amazing deal! You’re lucky to have so many national parks in Washington, Charlie- there’s few in Ohio though we have a good amount of state parks and preserves.
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    • We all have amazing treasures that sadly we don’t enjoy or visit as often as we might. Washington has over 100 state parks and there are many I have never seen. It is part of my bucket list to change that.

  2. This is a great deal for $80. And in 42 years (Ha!), I’ll be eligible for the senior discount….

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