I thought we already had a thread here on the subject but I can't find it. Given that we GPS owners travel a lot and that many of us are age 62+, I thought I'd share this.
The cost of a Senior Pass (requirements: age 62+ and US citizen or Permanent Resident) is currently $10 for a lifetime pass. On August 28, less than three weeks from now, the cost for the pass increases to $80.
If you meet the requirements and plan some day to visit a National Park Service or another fee-charged federal site, now would be a good time to purchase a Senior Pass. Being cautious, what I did is buy a second Senior Pass. If I never lose my first pass, I'll consider the second $10 a donation to the NPS. If I do lose my first pass, I'll have a backup that cost me just $10 which will save me from having to pay $80 for a new one.
Just a heads up: if you plan to drive a private vehicle into Grand Canyon National Park, the current entry fee is $30 so even if you only plan to visit this park once and never go to another NPS site, the lifetime Senior Pass will have saved you $20.
CraigW. Been a member for over 10 years & it made National Parks a freebie for me.
I ordered mine as soon as I turned 62.
It's a real bargain.
If you only use it once, it pays for itself.
I ordered on 5/18/17 and got a confirmation it shipped by US Postal service. They must have then contracted with the pony express because I haven't received it yet.
And the $10 by mail and a credit card is actually $20 due to a processing fee and a handling charge. Still worth the $20.
I got my Senior Pass last year and I'll be 73 this year. Was still working until a year ago. Didn't travel far before retirement - at least not in a long time.
Fortunately, there are 2 National Parks within 20 miles of our house. I just drove to the info center in Yorktown, gave them the needed information and money and that was it.
Yes, just going to 1 park can save you money, as it covers everyone in the vehicle!
Check the NPS website for rules and restrictions. I seem to remember that NPS mentioned, on the website, that some parks are excluded, But I did not see a list of the exclusions.
We went out west about 3 years ago. With all of the National Parks that we visited, we saved almost $200.00. The only place we had to pay one dime was at Mt. Rushmore. It turns out that the parking garage is operated by an outside vendor. Other than that, it was free admittance to all of the other areas.
My wife is "collecting" US National Parks. We got these passes as soon as we could. We just recently finished a 7 week road trip where we "acquired" several more parks. Free entry and half-price camping rocks. In October we will pick up the National Park of American Samoa and next March will score Virgin Islands National Park.
My wife has a tee shirt that lists all of the parks and has a check box next to each one. She is just shy of half of them right now.
Note: If you plan to travel in Canada you can order a free National Park pass online. It's Canada's 150 anniversary so they are offering a pass for free entry to their national parks. We just visited Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. You don't have to be Canadian to get the pass.
I have been going to Yosemite camping every year for last 20 years
Being Canadian, I am not eligible for the Seniors' Pass. However, if I could get one, I would gladly pay the increased fee ($85) for a lifetime pass!
In Canada, an annual national park pass was free for 2017 because it's our 150th birthday. But there is no "lifetime pass" and a Discovery Pass (good for two years, covering one vehicle with up to seven people) normally costs $135.
So any American seniors should not miss purchasing a Golden Eagle pass!
The national parks really really need money due to so many folks visiting them and aging infrastructure that they often can't meet the soaring demand at popular parks while the country deals with soaring national debt.
I wouldn't worry about missing out on the $10 passes, even at $80 they are an exceptional bargain. It would make more sense to make them $10 /year instead of a one time fee for seniors. Without more funds, the parks are going to be in trouble, and it makes sense that folks who visit the busiest parks pay for the privilege of national parks. Meanwhile, a lot of parks and other DoI sites are completely free to all. For example, Visit Great Basin National Park!
Craig, I have TWO passes TOO. Keep one in the glove box of each vehicle because we blow down the road in each vehicle occasionally, and stop at national parks, historical sites, civil war battle fields, etc.
As a matter of fact, we have THREE passes, because my wife just picked up her own ... "In case you die," she said. I worry about what she feeds me sometimes.
Daniel, we have the FREE 2017 Canadian national park pass. That, too, was a great deal!
I haven't checked on it yet but I was told that any disabled vet can get a free lifetime pass to National Parks. The paperwork from Florida says we can get a free lifetime family pass to state parks.
Here's the scoop on Access Passes open to folks with a permanent disability. Being a veteran is not required.
I just got mine when we went to Bryce Canyon NP last week. The next day at Zion NP was free. Have been telling everyone I know about it.
Got mine yesterday...Had to wait a while because there were a bunch of old people in line.
I have the same problem every first Wednesday of each month when I shop at Fry's grocery store for groceries on (10% off) Seniors Day. Why do I shop then? 10% off!
Craig, I have TWO passes TOO.
On my travels in NJ I stopped at a few parks they were either sold out or don't sell them. So I ordered it on line for 20 dollars of course all back ordered.
Old folks get paid on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Wednesdays. Don't know who get paid on the 1st Wednesday. However there are a goodly number of SS folks who still get there check on the the 3rd of the month. Since the 1st Wednesday will generally be close to the 3rd of the month, that's why SS doesn't pay on th 1st Wednesday.
It will be interesting to see how long it takes....I used the online forms about a month ago (when I first heard of the deal), and I'm looking forward to getting this little jewel, but the Gub-Mint is not known for its efficiency.... we shall see.
Ordered mine on 5/18/17. I got an email it shipped on 7/27/17 BUT I just checked the credit card statement and they took the $20 out on 8/2/17. How they can ship before taking the money is anyone's guess, but hopefully it's in the mail?
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