The National Parks Service announced in August of this year that the Senior Lifetime Pass and the Senior Yearly Pass prices would be increased from $10 to $20 for an Annual Pass and to $80 for a Lifetime Pass. The Parks website has released a comprehensive questions and answers style update for the recent changes.
The changes come on the back of a recent piece of legislation know as the Centennial Act which states the reasoning behind the change as:
“To prepare the National Park Service for its Centennial in 2016 and for a second century of promoting and protecting the natural, historic, and cultural resources of our National Parks for the enjoyment of present and future generations, and for other purposes.”
National Parks Service, Plan Your Visit:
Changes to the Senior Pass
On August 28, 2017, the price of the America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass increased for the first time since 1994. The additional revenue will be used to enhance the visitor experience in parks. Learn more about the changes, what they mean for you, and how the additional funds will be used.
Why did the price of the Senior Pass increase?
The price of the America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass increased as result of the Centennial Legislation P.L. 114-289 passed by the US Congress on December 16, 2016.
When was the last time the price increased for the Senior Pass?
The Senior Pass has been $10 since 1994.
How much did it increase?
The lifetime Senior Pass increased from $10 to $80.
The legislation states that the cost of the lifetime Senior Pass be equal to the cost of the annual America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, which is currently $80.
What if a senior citizen is on a fixed budget?
The legislation also establishes an annual Senior Pass for $20. That pass is valid for one year from the date of issuance. Four annual Senior Passes purchased in prior years can be traded in for a lifetime pass. Additionally, access to the majority of National Park Service sites remains free—only 118 of 417 National Park Service sites have an entrance fee.
What if I have a current Senior Pass?
The current passes are lifetime passes and will remain valid.
Will the benefits of my Senior Pass change?
No. All benefits of the current Senior Pass stay the same.
What if my current Senior Pass is lost or stolen?
Passes are non-refundable and non-transferable and cannot be replaced if lost or stolen.
If lost or stolen, a new pass will need to be purchased.
Who is eligible for a Senior Pass?
US citizens or permanent residents 62 years or older are eligible for the Senior Pass.
What does the Senior Pass provide?
Annual and lifetime Senior Passes provide access to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by six federal agencies:
- National Park Service
- US Fish & Wildlife Service
- Bureau of Land Management
- Bureau of Reclamation
- US Forest Service
- US Army Corps of Engineers
The passes cover entrance and standard amenity (day-use) recreation fees and provide discounts on some expanded amenity recreation fees.
Are there any other benefits from a Senior Pass?
Yes, traveling companions can also enter for free. The Senior Passes admit pass owner/s and passengers in a noncommercial vehicle at per-vehicle fee areas and pass owner plus three adults, not to exceed four adults, where per-person fees are charged. (Children under 16 are always admitted free.) Also, at many sites, the Senior Passes provide the pass owner (only) a discount on Expanded Amenity Fees (such as camping, swimming, boat launching, and guided tours).
How can I purchase a Senior Pass?
Senior Passes can be purchased at any federal recreation site, including national parks, that charges an entrance or standard amenity (day-use) fee. Proof of age and residency is required. See the complete list of sites where the pass is available (PDF).
Passes can also be purchased online or through the mail from USGS; an additional $10 processing fee will be added to the price. Visit the USGS store to buy the pass online or find instructions for purchasing by mail.
Will the money from the sales of Senior Passes sold in national parks benefit the National Park Service?
Yes, the funds from all Senior Passes purchased in a national park will go to a National Park Foundation Endowment and a National Park Centennial Challenge Fund, both authorized by the Centennial Legislation.
One thought on “National Parks Senior Pass Prices Go Up For The First Time Since 1994”
The lifetime pass also works for parking fee at locations run by the feds. I used min at Carson Pass–half the cost of the pass right there.