Seniors have until Aug. 27 to pay $10 for a lifetime pass to
enter U.S. national parks. After that date, the price goes up to $80.
The price hike was included in the National Park Service
Centennial Act, signed into law by Barack Obama in December. In addition to
raising the fee for seniors, the law established an endowment to fund national
The senior lifetime pass, available for U.S. residents age 62 and
older, has cost $10 since 1994.
Passes can be purchased at a national park or other federal
recreation area that charges an entrance fee. The pass can also be obtained by
mail or online, but there will be an additional $10 processing fee, for a total
of $20. Due to expected high volume, there could be delays with online and mail
order processing of up to several months, said the National Park Service.
The senior pass can be used to enter sites managed by the
National Park Service, the 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.
The senior pass covers all entrance fees and standard
amenity/day use fees. Plus, the pass enables the holder to get discounts on
some tours or campsites. The pass also waives the entrance fee for traveling
companions. At per-vehicle fee sites, the pass waives the fee for the pass holder
and all passengers in a noncommercial vehicle. At a per-person fee site, the
pass admits the pass holder and three other adults. Children under 16 are always
Seniors will have the option of acquiring an annual pass for
$20. Should they later decide to buy the lifetime pass, seniors can apply what
they spent on annual passes to the $80 lifetime pass.