Understanding the National Park Senior Pass Rate Increase

Dave L. receiving a lifetime pass at Yosemite National Park – Lisa Lopez, Share Your Story

The cost of the lifetime national park senior pass increased on August 28, 2017. The price is now $80, though seniors who already have a pass will not need to get a new one.  

What is the pass?

The America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass offers U.S. citizens or permanent residents over the age of 62 entrance into national parks and national wildlife refuges, in addition to standard amenity fees at national forests and grasslands, and lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. If at a per vehicle area, the pass holder and occupants of a non-commercial vehicle enter free. At per person fee areas, the pass holder and up to three additional adults enter free of charge.

The pass includes other discounts on some expanded amenity fees charged at facilities and services (boat lunch, camping, etc.). The pass is non-transferable and does NOT cover recreation permit fees or concessionaire fees. It cannot be replaced if lost or stolen.

Why did the price increase?

The price increase is a result of the Centennial Legislation P.L. 114-289 passed by the U.S. Congress on December 16, 2016. The new cost of the lifetime senior pass will be equal to the regular price of an America the Beautiful Pass, the annual pass for those under the age of 62.

The price of the lifetime senior pass had not changed since 1994, but the needs of our national parks have increased since that time. The revenues generated from the sales of the lifetime senior passes will help support projects and programs that support visitor experiences at the over 400 national parks across the country. For the same price ($80) that non-senior visitors pay for one year, pass holders receive unlimited access for years to come.

How do I get a pass?

To get a pass you can choose one of the following methods:

  1. Mail (requires additional $10 processing fee): Paper applications will require proof of residency and age.
  2. Online (requires additional $10 processing fee): Applicants need to upload proof of residency and age, as well as providing credit card information.
  3. In person (no additional fee): This is the preferred option if you’re visiting one of the participating Federal recreation sites or offices. Here is a list of locations that offer the Senior Pass. Make sure to call ahead to ensure that they have passes on hand.

Passes take between six to ten weeks to arrive. Be careful with your pass! They are non-refundable, non-transferable, and cannot be replaced if lost or stolen.

Sun peaking out over blue the blue mountaintops with rocks in the foreground at Shenandoah National Park

Worried about committing $80 to a lifetime pass that you may only use this year?

Rather than leaping into a lifetime pass, another great option is to purchase an Annual Senior pass for $20, which lasts for one year. Once you renew the pass for four consecutive years (a total of $80), you’re welcome to trade the pass in for a lifetime national park senior pass for no additional fee and you will not need to renew your pass ever again!

What about prices for other passes?

Here is a list of information and pricing for other park passes.

What about the FREE stuff?

There are fee-free days for all visitors several times a year. Check here for a list of fee-free days. Free passes are also available for U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities and volunteers who have completed 250 service hours.

These rate increases will help the National Park Service improve visitor experiences and recreation opportunities across the land. For further information on these recent updates, head to the National Park Service website.

Other Questions?

Have other questions about the pass or about your pass in particular? The official pass program is run by USGS.  For any other information about the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, contact 1-888-ASK-USGS and press 3. (888-275-8747, option 3), or [email protected]

Last updated February 26, 2021.

Comments

USGS has charged me an additional amount for the Lifetime Pass I just bought with no explanation given. I am disputing the carge since there is no way to talk to USGS about it. Is there a phone number I can talk to a person about this?
Kathleen
Tierney
Hi Kathleen! You can call USGS at 1-888-ASK-USGS and press 3. (888-275-8747, option 3). Hope this helps!
NPF
Staff
My grandson is paralyzed will this apply to him
Venita
McClure
Hi Venita! USGS offers a variety of recreational passes. You can learn more about the different types, including fees and where to order or purchase the passes, here: https://store.usgs.gov/recreational-passes. Hope this helps!
NPF
Staff
I need to find out if my American the Beautiful Lifetime Senior Pass is in my name or my husband’s.
Jill
Cooke
We have applied for a senior annual pass. What is an additional per person fee if we have more than 4 adults riding in the same vehicle?
Manisha
Desai
Hi Manisha, we would recommend reaching out to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), who runs the official pass program with any questions about park passes. You can call 1-888-ASK-USGS and press 3. (888-275-8747, option 3). Additionally, entrance fees can vary by park, so it may be good to reach out the park(s) you're planning on visiting in advance to ask ahead. Hope this helps in planning your trip!
NPF
Staff
My husband passed away in November 2021. Can I use his lifetime senior pass?
Cathy
Glander
In my husband's name: Donnie R. DePriest. Can i still use the card? I now have two blood clots in my lung . I'm 74. What would be my cost if I have to pay?
donnie/stella
DePriest
Hi Stella, we would recommend reaching out to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), who runs the official pass program with any questions about park passes. You can call 1-888-ASK-USGS and press 3. (888-275-8747, option 3).
NPF
Staff
No ma’am, not unless it was a pass with both names on it.
Dianne
Chalmers
Hi Cathy, we would recommend reaching out to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), who runs the official pass program with any questions about park passes. You can call 1-888-ASK-USGS and press 3. (888-275-8747, option 3).
NPF
Staff
I lost my national park senior card, Can I get it replaced for free?
john
woods
I need to replace my senior life time national park pass
Robert
Watson
We lost our senior Federal life time parks pass. How can we get replacement?
dee
chien
I am 73 yo, My wallet was stolen, can I get a replacement Senior Pass that is good for all National Parks and camping?
Deborah
Patton
Hi Deborah! The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) runs the official pass program. We would recommend reaching out to them by contacting 1-888-ASK-USGS and press 3. (888-275-8747, option 3).
NPF
Staff
lost my senior Federal life time parks pass. How can we get replacement?
Jolene
Sullivan
Hi Jolene! The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) runs the official pass program. We would recommend reaching out to them by contacting 1-888-ASK-USGS and press 3. (888-275-8747, option 3).
NPF
Staff
I moved recently and I can’t find my lifetime senior park pass
Christine
Huyke
I am currently on Big Island and left my senior pass (the one with the California Poppies- I was born in 1946) at home. Can I receive a temporary pass? Thank you.
Marie
Burgar
Hi Marie! The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) runs the official pass program. We would recommend reaching out to them by contacting 1-888-ASK-USGS and press 3. (888-275-8747, option 3).
NPF
Staff
Hi there Christine! The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) runs the official pass program. We would recommend reaching out to them by contacting 1-888-ASK-USGS and press 3. (888-275-8747, option 3).
NPF
Staff
Same for me. Misplaced or never received. My receipt is dated August 23, 2017. Paid $20.
Larry
Tucker
Hi there! We would recommend reaching out to the official pass program, run by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). For questions about the pass, contact 1-888-ASK-USGS and press 3. (888-275-8747, option 3).
NPF
Staff
My wife and I cannot find our lifetime senior pass
Ron
LOCKLEAR
Hi John, thanks for reaching out. The official pass program is run by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). For questions about the pass, contact 1-888-ASK-USGS and press 3. (888-275-8747, option 3). Hope this helps!
NPF
Staff
No, your reply very obviously doesn’t help. It’s purely bureaucratic and obfuscates instead of informs. Here’s the real answer: If you lose the pass, you’re out of luck. It’s 2021, and somehow this agency’s office brass won’t provide electronic backup, or a secure app, or anything else that would deal this common problem and tie your pass to you.
Ax
Ho
I lost wallet with pass inside. How do get a replacement? I purchased or $10 dollars at Grand 9 years ago.
charles
brannan
Hello Charles, thanks for reaching out. The official pass program is run by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). For questions about the pass, contact 1-888-ASK-USGS and press 3. (888-275-8747, option 3). Hope this helps!
NPF
Staff

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