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National Park Pass
Old 08-07-2015, 12:12 PM   #1
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National Park Pass

Just picked up our National Park Pass for seniors - you have to be 62 or older - for only $10, lifetime. Gives you admission to national parks.

From: America the Beautiful (U.S. National Park Service)

Senior Pass
  • $10 Lifetime pass
  • For U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over.
  • May be obtained in person at a federal recreation site or through the mail using this application form. The cost of obtaining a Senior Pass through the mail is twenty dollars ($20). Ten ($10) for the Senior Pass and ten ($10) for processing the application. Applicants must provide documentation of age and residency or citizenship.
  • May provide a 50 percent discount on some amenity fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services.
  • Generally does NOT cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessioners.
I would be interested in any that already have a pass, any problems they have encountered, and I'm sure there are some great stories from those that already have one
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:19 PM   #2
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One of the best $10 I've spent. Have only used it to blow by the rangers at the gates, but very very handy. Cheap like me buys the pass at the ranger station and pays $10 only rather than $20 by mail. Right up there with getting your first SS payment.

Was in a line of cars at Joshua Tree National Park and they created a special line for those with passes - felt like VIP treatment for the Old F*rts.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:44 PM   #3
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One of the best $10 I've spent.
+1

We've saved almost $1,000 on camping fees in Corps of Engineers and National Parks in the past five years. The pass provides a 50% discount which really adds up for us.
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Old 08-07-2015, 04:05 PM   #4
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Coincidentally I'm buying the pass later today. I'm not 62 however, so my cost will be $80. My wife and I are going to see all 5 NPs in southern Utah in September. Individually the cost would be $90, so I guess I saved $10 and can use it again until this time next year.
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Old 08-07-2015, 04:19 PM   #5
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Bought my last $80 pass a couple days ago. Next year I'll get the $10 one!
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Old 08-07-2015, 04:26 PM   #6
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Bought my last $80 pass a couple days ago. Next year I'll get the $10 one!
+1

$80 for one year vs. $10 for the rest of your life. IMO it is the very best 'senior discount' you'll ever get!
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:05 PM   #7
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Also noticed they have free annual pass for military. Says you just need to present your Military ID to get the pass.
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:15 PM   #8
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Great idea. I got mine earlier this year, free, as I am a disabled Vet.

The entire car gets in the park free, and you get discounts on camping and other park admissions.

I have not used mine yet, but am headed to Death Valley in the fall. I will save $20 on admission, plus half price on the Scotty's Castle tour.
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:19 PM   #9
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Coincidentally I'm buying the pass later today. I'm not 62 however, so my cost will be $80. My wife and I are going to see all 5 NPs in southern Utah in September. Individually the cost would be $90, so I guess I saved $10 and can use it again until this time next year.
This will be the trip of a lifetime, my favorite area in the US by far. I hope you have enough time set aside so you don't have to rush. Capitol Reef is wonderful and doesn't get enough attention IMO.
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:24 PM   #10
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we're 54... not $10... but still looking at it by year for a national parks year!
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:29 PM   #11
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Coincidentally I'm buying the pass later today. I'm not 62 however, so my cost will be $80. My wife and I are going to see all 5 NPs in southern Utah in September. Individually the cost would be $90, so I guess I saved $10 and can use it again until this time next year.

I just received our $80 pass in the mail-- we are taking a very similar trip at the end of September. Next year DH will be 62 so I don't mind making this last larger payment to the NPS.
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:39 AM   #12
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We have TVA campgrounds in our town, and the pass halves the cost of camping there.

Campgrounds on U.S. Army Corp of Engineer lakes are also half price, and they're all over the country.

We also use our pass in U.S. Forestry Service properties, including visiting a number of large waterfalls in The Smokies and the Blue Ridge Mountains with entrance fees.

National Parks are just the tip of the iceberg in government recreational facilities.
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Old 08-08-2015, 09:54 AM   #13
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got mine at Grand Canyon last winter; also with separate line for passes
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:11 AM   #14
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I'm looking forward to getting one when I hit the magic age to qualify.

Please keep all the ideas coming as it's good to know all the places these passes may be used. I'm taking notes.
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:40 AM   #15
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Crater Lake in southern Oregon. Magical place.

We were last there this past April before Rim Drive opened for the season and there was still a lot of snow. At that time only the south gate was open and entry was free, but we could only drive up as far as the rim.

The lake was so still that day, it was a giant clear blue mirror.
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:56 AM   #16
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We intended to get one when we went to Sequoia last year. DH had turned 62. But... as chance had it - we entered the park on a holiday that allowed all folks to enter free and they couldn't be bothered to take our $10 to issue the pass.

I'm sure we'll get one before next summer.
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:58 AM   #17
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+1

$80 for one year vs. $10 for the rest of your life. IMO it is the very best 'senior discount' you'll ever get!
I married one , pass, payed up house, her own pension plus we're in love.

heh heh heh - isn't ER just wonderful. Olympic Nat'l , Fort McHenry and several others in the last two years. It's a deal.
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Old 08-08-2015, 11:51 AM   #18
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+1

We've saved almost $1,000 on camping fees in Corps of Engineers and National Parks in the past five years. The pass provides a 50% discount which really adds up for us.
Our biggest use for the card is camping at Corps parks along the Mississippi at half price. Quite a deal. Thomson Causeway is one of our favorites and at $10/night, it's hard to beat.
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Old 08-12-2015, 10:18 AM   #19
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One of us will be eligible next year - yeah!

For fun I kept track of our savings this past year, and came in at $290 saved vs $80 spent. We traveled five months in our RV through almost a dozen states, and stopped to visit as many national and federal properties as we could. There are more than 400 national properties around the US, and many more federal, so still just the tip of the iceberg.
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:20 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
IMO it is the very best 'senior discount' you'll ever get!
+2
I've saved hundreds of dollars with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post
The entire car gets in the park free, and you get discounts on camping and other park admissions.
This is an often overlooked benefit, and great if you have family or friends with you. I've been able to take advantage of it several times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosie View Post
Crater Lake in southern Oregon. Magical place.

We were last there this past April before Rim Drive opened for the season and there was still a lot of snow. At that time only the south gate was open and entry was free, but we could only drive up as far as the rim.
I had the exact same experience there in early June some years ago!
Rangers told me the entire park is accessible "about a couple of months a year."
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