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National Parks Senior Pass
Old 04-13-2011, 04:59 PM   #1
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National Parks Senior Pass

Now that the winter weather is finally starting to disappear, I thought it would be timely to remind everyone about one of my very favorite things for old farts seniors.

When you reach your 62nd birthday, you can buy a $10 pass that gives you access to over 2,000 locations in the U.S. National Park system.

This is a lifetime pass (yes, the $10 is a one time fee) that never expires. it covers everyone in your vehicle as well.

America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass

Seriously, this is an amazing deal.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:14 PM   #2
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Thanks for the reminder. I plan to get one when I arrive at the magic age in a few more years.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:29 PM   #3
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Just used mine this past week to camp at the Army Corp of Eng campground at Rend Lake, an Army Corp impoundment in southern Illinois. The Senior Pass gave us 50% off and it was a very nice facility.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:35 PM   #4
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As a youngster, I got charged $80 for an annual NP pass.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:47 PM   #5
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As a youngster, I got charged $80 for an annual NP pass.
And they are still $80 today, regardless of your age!
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:56 PM   #6
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Does anybody else think this is just plain wrong?

I'm a big fan of the National Parks and think my $80 annual pass is itself a killer deal. I can't tell you the number of times I've seen retirees drive up in their $500,000 RV and wave their $10 lifetime pass to get into the park. That just gets me riled up. Most seniors who visit the parks can easily afford the regular annual pass. The ones who can't are not visiting the parks anyway, as far as i can tell. In this time of crunched budgets isn't it time to get rid of this give away?
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:36 PM   #7
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Does anybody else think this is just plain wrong?
I don't have any problem with it either way. If we want to give a senior discount fine. If not that is fine. Trying to distinguish between the needy seniors and the not needy seniors is not worth bothering with.

The bottom line is taxpayers support the parks. We could make all of these resources self supporting by charging much higher user fees but then we would have to close them. There are not enough users to pay fo things like National Parks. Same goes for libraries and a host of other things I think are worth supporting.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:47 AM   #8
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Does anybody else think this is just plain wrong?

I'm a big fan of the National Parks and think my $80 annual pass is itself a killer deal. I can't tell you the number of times I've seen retirees drive up in their $500,000 RV and wave their $10 lifetime pass to get into the park. That just gets me riled up. Most seniors who visit the parks can easily afford the regular annual pass. The ones who can't are not visiting the parks anyway, as far as i can tell. In this time of crunched budgets isn't it time to get rid of this give away?
No. I think the number of retirees arriving at fed parks in $500,000 RV's is pretty limited.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:54 AM   #9
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I don't have any problem with it either way. If we want to give a senior discount fine. If not that is fine. Trying to distinguish between the needy seniors and the not needy seniors is not worth bothering with.

The bottom line is taxpayers support the parks. We could make all of these resources self supporting by charging much higher user fees but then we would have to close them. There are not enough users to pay fo things like National Parks. Same goes for libraries and a host of other things I think are worth supporting.
+1

High income folks pay higher taxes regardless of whether or not they are seniors. I see no problem in giving seniors an incentive to visit National Parks more often.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:55 PM   #10
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Does anybody else think this is just plain wrong?

I'm a big fan of the National Parks and think my $80 annual pass is itself a killer deal. I can't tell you the number of times I've seen retirees drive up in their $500,000 RV and wave their $10 lifetime pass to get into the park. That just gets me riled up. Most seniors who visit the parks can easily afford the regular annual pass. The ones who can't are not visiting the parks anyway, as far as i can tell. In this time of crunched budgets isn't it time to get rid of this give away?
No, I think this is just plain RIGHT. If someone works for 40-50 years, pays state, federal and FICA taxes and manages to save up enough to enjoy the fruits of their labor, I see no problem in giving them a small perk like this.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:41 PM   #11
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Within the past year we have used our Senior Pass at Acadia National Park in Maine and Big Bend National Park in Texas, among other national parks.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:52 PM   #12
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Paid $15 to go through the Joshua Tree National Monument yesterday - pass is good for a week and I'm looking forward to getting the lifetime pass later this year. Well worth the money to go through the park yesterday and don't mind the waste of not waiting till later to see the park.

Coming down we stopped and helped a German tourist couple in a rented Mustang convertible - they had pulled off the road and buried the wheels in the sand. Good times - there was us, Oregon transplants; a Czech tourist couple; and a really effective local rock climber/hippy. The local boy dug a path with a garden trowel and wok (use the tools you've got), unearthed a good sized boulder from under the centerline, produced rope and hooked up his 4wd Toyota pu. We flattened some cardboard boxes and put them under the tires for floatation, offered up water and cheese, everybody pushed. Car came out without damage and nobody died, though the German driver had a real problem with revving the motor, leaving the car's emergency brake on, and starting the car while people were under it. Yoiks.

Dang I was proud of that young man. USA USA - I like it when I feel people from another country have met some good and representative Americans.
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:37 PM   #13
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Paid $15 to go through the Joshua Tree National Monument yesterday - pass is good for a week and I'm looking forward to getting the lifetime pass later this year..
That was one of my favorite "escape from LA" places. Incredibly peaceful and calming. I believe it used to be free; or at least I do not remember paying.

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Old 04-14-2011, 06:49 PM   #14
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That was one of my favorite "escape from LA" places. Incredibly peaceful and calming. I believe it used to be free; or at least I do not remember paying.

Ha
$15! Per person? It uesd to be free. I guess the 10 million people that live next door found out about it.
NP passes. Good stuff.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:19 PM   #15
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You two are oooold - maybe you are remembering when it used to be JT national monument - it's now JT National Park.

and it was $15/car yesterday and still a knockout place with all the open air you can handle.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:23 PM   #16
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For those of us not yet eligible for the senior discount I highly recommend the "America the Beautiful" pass http://www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm. $80/yr and is good for the NP, NFS, BLM, F & W etc.

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Old 04-14-2011, 08:48 PM   #17
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I will almost gauarntee that within a couple of years this deal with also be gone. It won't go unnoticed as they will look for ways to increase revenue everywhere they can - parks, taxes, you name it. I'm sure there will still be a discount, but not $10 for life.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:12 PM   #18
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You two are oooold - maybe you are remembering when it used to be JT national monument - it's now JT National Park.

and it was $15/car yesterday and still a knockout place with all the open air you can handle.
I am too old! Even worse, my woman friends are getting a bit old too!

And you are right, it was Joshua Tree National Monument.

Ha
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Old 04-15-2011, 06:01 AM   #19
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I will almost gauarntee that within a couple of years this deal with also be gone. It won't go unnoticed as they will look for ways to increase revenue everywhere they can - parks, taxes, you name it. I'm sure there will still be a discount, but not $10 for life.
I don't know. The $10 fee is down from $25 a few years ago. I think this is essentially viewed as free admission for seniors with a $10 registration and tracking fee. They probably get more from the concession fees than they would by trying to jack us up for admission fees. I suspect a lot of seniors would blow the Parks off if they chose to cancel their cards.

Edit: I doubt they would/could cancel existing cards - we have an implied or maybe actual contract for lifetime admission. If they cancelled it prospectively I don't know how many future seniors would even be aware of the change. But I still don't think it will get the axe. Not after the 2012 "stop-the-medicare-cutting-its-time-for-another-180-degree-backlash" election
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:58 AM   #20
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Just saw this post by calmloki on another thread.

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