National Park Pass Seniors in the USA {Can use for a lifetime}

National Park Pass Seniors in the USA: Can Use for a Lifetime

There are few more affordable ways to see amazing areas that purchasing a National Park Pass seniors in the U.S.A. can use for a lifetime. That’s correct, once you purchase your National Park Pass you are entitled to National Park Access for the rest of your life.

As long as you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of at least 62 years of age or older, you can purchase a lifetime pass for just $80. The option is to buy an annual pass for $20. It seems like an amazing deal to purchase the lifetime pass if you enjoy the great outdoors and spend at least part of the summer months in the wilderness areas of the U.S.A.


The official name of the National Park Pass is America the Beautifulthe National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. This pass replaces the Golden Age Passport of years ago.

The Pass will allow seniors the ability to access the recreational areas managed by six Federal agencies that include National Parks. Along with entrance into the park, the pass can also let seniors receive discounts of other amenity fees, such as camping

National Park Pass Seniors in the USA {Can use for a lifetime}

Should you opt for an annual pass at $20 and purchase that same pass four years in a row, that obviously you are making use of it. In that event, you can trade in those four years for a lifetime pass. Be sure to note that you have to purchase annual passes at $20 each for four years in succession in order to trade in for a lifetime pass at no extra cost.

Annual passes are good for two people but do not cover the amenity fees(like camping) the same way a lifetime pass does. In the event you already have the older plastic version called the Golden Age Passport, they are also valid for a lifetime.

The paper Golden Age Passes can be exchanged for the new senior pass free of charge. All that is required if proof of identification that can be pretty much any government-issued document including a birth certificate of driver’s license for instance.

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In the event wish to obtain a lifetime pass in person you can visit any participating recreation site of office.

The passes can also be obtained by mail or online at a variety of participating agencies, however additional fees could possibly apply.

National Park Pass Seniors in the USA {Can use for a lifetime}
Mount Rushmore

A few choices are the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Whatever agency or method you choose you will have to provide proper documentation of proof of age. Either you will have to upload your proof of age if you choose to make your pass purchase online, or include photocopies if you are making the purchase by mail.


Three adults plus the pass holder will be covered under one pass in areas where the fee is based on per-person as opposed to per vehicle. A non-commercial vehicle includes all passengers when the fee is on a per-vehicle basis as opposed to per person. Children under 16 are always free.

It should be noted that if a party includes two vehicles, only the vehicle with the pass holder will be able to gain free access. A separate card would have to be purchased for any additional vehicles. Alternatively, an entrance fee may be paid in the event an additional pass is not purchased.

National Park Pass Seniors in the USA {Can use for a lifetime}
Grand Canyon

It’s not just camping fees that may be discounted for senior pass holders. Other fees such as boat launching, guided tours, and transportation systems might also be included. Any way you look at it, the lifetime Senior National Park Pass is an excellent value for those who frequent the great outdoors.

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It’s best to check whether the pass is honored at your travel destination. The Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service are just a few of the venues that will honor your past.

Be sure to take care of your Senior National Park Pass as it will not be replaced if it is lost. In the event that happens, another one will have to be purchased or the standard admission fee to the park will have to be paid.

National Park Pass Seniors in the USA {Can use for a lifetime}

Always check to see what amenities are covered by the Park you plan on traveling to as they all differ. Remember that annual passes do not cover extra amenities, but Lifetime passes do. Because there are half a dozen federal agencies that manage the pass, it’s important to remember that they all have different regulations and fees.

If your campsite is discounted, it only pertains to the campsite of the pass holder and not to other campsites used by other members of his party. There are no discounts if utility fees(hookups)are charged separately. However, there may be a discount if the utility fees and campsite are combined by a particular park.

National Park Pass Seniors in the USA {Can use for a lifetime}
Glacier Bay iceberg calving

Also, there is no discount for group campsites if there is a flat fee. If on the other hand, the group campsite has a per-person fee, the pass holder receives a discount while the others pay the full fee.


In the event you camp a lot, it certainly is worth it. The cost of the pass increased from $10 to $80 in 2017, but it’s still an excellent bargain.

The price had not changed since 1994, but the many needs of the National Parks increased year over year. Increased revenue generated by the Senior Park Pass fee increase in 2017 will go a long way toward supporting a host of projects and programs that are very important to the over 400 national parks across the U.S.A.

If you are not sure if you will make use of the pass, why not purchase an annual pass at $20. Those who purchase a pass four years in succession can upgrade to a lifetime pass at no extra cost.

This national park pass seniors in the U.S.A. can use for a lifetime is certainly worth it just for the access it affords you to the stunning western National Parks. These include the Grand Canyon, Zion, the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, and even Mount Rushmore.


Would you like to share your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page.

2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Thank you Ray

    This was very informative to me. I did not know that you were able to get a “golden ticket”. We go camping all the time and a couple of us could really use the discounts that are offered. I am not able to get one myself so am I able to get the annual pass, or do you have to be over 62 for that as well?  Thanks again for some great destination ideas too.

    1. Thank you for your comment Kari.  You can purchase an annual pass, but unless you are 62 or older it will cost $80. The cost of an annual pass for seniors is $20.

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