4 Things to Know about the National Park Senior Pass Fee Increase

The price of the America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass will increase from $10 to $80 on August 28, 2017.

The National Park Service is experiencing a major increase in Senior pass sales because of the impending fee increase.

  1. Until the current backlog of Senior Pass orders are shipped, your order confirmation will be honored for use at agency sites.
  2. If you need your pass in less than three months, consider purchasing your pass at the first site you visit. Please click here for a list of sites that issue passes. Please Note that USGS field offices DO NOT issue passes.
  3. Online and Mail in Senior pass applications are currently being processed within twelve weeks.
  4. All eligible Senior pass orders postmarked before August 28 will be processed at the $10 price. Lifetime Senior pass orders postmarked after August 28 will be processed at the $80 price. Additional processing fees of $10 apply.

The Senior Pass allows lifetime access to more than 2,000 sites and parks throughout the country. Additional revenues from the fee increase will support critical maintenance projects at national parks and federal recreational lands nationwide.

In December 2016, Congress passed legislation requiring that the price of the lifetime Senior Pass be the same as the Interagency Annual Pass, which is currently $80. The legislation also introduces a new annual Senior Pass that can be purchased for $20. Seniors who purchase annual Senior Passes for four years can trade them in for a lifetime Senior Pass at no additional charge.

The price of the Senior Pass has been $10 since 1994. U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are age 62 years or older can purchase the lifetime pass for $10 before August 28 at a national park or other Federal recreation area that charges an entrance or standard amenity (day-use) fee. The pass can also be obtained by mail or online for $10 before August 28, but an additional $10 processing charge will make the total cost of the pass $20. Due to expected high order volume, there could be delays with online and mail order processing of up to several months.

Golden Age or Senior passes purchased before August 28 will be honored for the pass holder’s lifetime.

The Senior Pass covers all entrance fees and standard amenity (day-use) fees and may provide discounts for things such as tours or campsites. The pass also waives the entrance fee for individuals traveling with the pass holder. At per-vehicle fee sites, the pass admits the pass holder and all passengers in a noncommercial vehicle. At per-person fee sites, the pass admits the pass holder and three other adults, while children under 16 are always admitted free.

The Senior Pass can be used at sites managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Revenues from passes are used to enhance the visitor experience and support priority projects and programs.