America Is Beautiful Pass: The Complete Guide

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Introduction To The America The Beautiful National Park Pass

What does the America The Beautiful National Park Pass give you?

Quick Look

America is beautiful pass
America The Beautiful
National Park Pass

  • Use the annual pass to enter U.S. national parks and sites, for one year, for no extra cost. The pass gives you entrance only.
  • Senior adult passes have a lifetime entrance option.
  • If the park charges entry per vehicle, the pass holder and three people in the car enter with no extra charge. Some parks charge entry per person. If per person, all except the pass holder have to pay for entry.
  • If you qualify, four of the park passes are free!

A Detailed Look

The America The Beautiful National Park Pass provides entrance to U.S. national parks and costs just $80. The pass allows entry to more than 2,000 parks and sites. Some passes offer discounts on certain benefits.

Canyonlands National Park
(Credit: au_ears, CC BY-SA 2.0,
via Wikimedia Commons)

The pass raises money through park entry fees. The National Park Service use the money to improve our parks. The pass also provides easier access to parks and historical sites across the United States.

America The Beautiful National Park Service Pass senior adult pass holders can save up to 50% on some fees at some parks and sites. The savings include some of the best national parks in America. For example, Yosemite Valley, Yellowstone, and Olympic parks provide discounts on camping fees with this pass.

Each pass covers entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges. The pass also covers standard amenity and day use fees at national forests and grasslands, lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

A pass covers entrance, standard amenity fees and day use fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per vehicle fee areas (or up to four adults at sites that charge per person). Children age 15 or under are admitted free.

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Who Can Buy The Pass?

All US citizens or permanent residents over the age of 16 can buy the pass. A driver’s license or passport is required to make the purchase. The pass is available at all park entrances and online. Online passes have a $10 processing fee.

America is beautiful pass
Yellowstone National Park

Types Of America The Beautiful Park Passes

4th Grade Pass Free4th grade through the following summer
Access PassFreeLifetime
Annual Pass$801 year
Senior Adults Pass*$80 or **$20*Lifetime **Annual
Military and Gold Star Families PassFreeAnnual
Volunteer PassFree with 250 volunteer hoursAnnual

4th Grade Pass – Free

This pass is for fourth graders in the U.S. The pass is also for students at least 10 years old who are home schooled. To find out how to get the pass, go to the Every Kid Outdoors Site.

Access Pass – Free Lifetime

This pass is for U.S. permanent residents or citizens. For this pass, you must:

  • Have a permanent disability
  • Provide documentation for your disability
  • Provide documentation for residency or citizenship

The pass may give you a 50 percent discount on some amenity fees. Discounts might include:

  • Camping
  • Swimming
  • Boat launching
  • Interpretive services.

Annual Pass – $80 a year

To qualify for this pass, you have to be 16 years or older. The pass allows entry into more than 2,000 parks and sites.

Military and Gold Star – Free Annual Pass

The pass covers:

  • US military members and their dependents (including the reserves)
  • Veterans
  • Gold Star families (close family members of service member who died serving during a time of conflict)

Senior Adults Pass – $80 Lifetime or $20 Annual

Enjoy America’s breathtaking National Parks with the Senior Adults Pass. The America Beautiful Pass lets seniors and their guests have unlimited entry to more than 2,000 national parks, wildlife refuges, monuments, and other federal lands. The senior pass has lifetime and annual options.

To buy the pass, you need to:

America is beautiful pass
Glacier National Park
(Credit: Tobias Klenze
CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Be 62 years or over
  • Have age and resident status or citizenship proof

At some parks and sites, the pass gives you a 50 per cent discount for:

  • Camping
  • Swimming
  • Boat launching
  • Interpretive services.

Volunteer Pass – Free Annual Pass

If you have 250 park service volunteer hours, you qualify for the pass.

Where You Can Use The America Is Beautiful Pass

The America Beautiful National Park Pass pass gives you access to:

  • National Parks and Forests
  • Bureau of Land Management sites
  • National Wildlife Refuges
  • Bureau of Reclamation sites
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sites

Where Can You Buy The Pass?

The pass provides a discounted price for entry into national parks for one year. You can have your pass mailed to your home. You can also purchase your pass at any of the following locations:

  • National Parks Gift Shop
  • Fee station offices
  • National Parks online store
  • United States Post Office.

Check here for a list of parks and recreation areas where you can buy a pass. Be sure to check pass availability before you go to the park. If you want to buy a pas when you arrive at the park, they might only be open part time. The passes you can buy might change too.

Also, buy the pass online. Go to the USGS online store. Fees apply for online purchases.

America Beautiful Pass – How Much Does It Cost You If You Do Not Have The Pass?

Currently, 108 national parks charge an entry fee. Many of the most popular parks have a fee. Check this list for national parks that charge an entry fee.

For example, Yellowstone charges for entry. The park charges $35 per vehicle and $20 per person. That equals $115 for a family of four! If you enjoy our parks, a few visits easily pay for a pass.

The America Beautiful Pass has a low annual fee. That fee gives you entry to all of America’s National Parks, Monuments, and Forests.

Entry to some our National Parks can cost a lot of money for a family of four. The America is Beautiful Pass lets you enjoy our parks without spending too much money.

You can save a little money of you only want to visit one park. With the America Is Beautiful Pass, you can enter over 2,000 parks and sites around the country for no extra entry cost each time you visit.

Your time has value too! The pass saves you time.

America The Beautiful Pass Benefit – Tips For Hikers?

America is beautiful pass
Glacier National Park
(Greg Willis from Denver, CO, usa, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
  • Choose the best time to buy your pass. If you buy in the late spring, you can hike the rest of the spring, summer, fall, and much of the next spring.
  • Display your pass with your signature facing out.
  • Remember you pass! The park cannot look up your pass after you arrive at the park.
  • Keep your pass handy. Be ready to show the pass. Usually, the parks check passes.

Conclusion: Why You Should Use The America Is Beautiful National Park Service Pass

Grand Canyon National Park
(Claytondodge9, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The American Beautiful National Park Service Pass is a great way to get access to all of the national parks and other public lands.

The National Park Service will not charge you extra entrance fees for any of the sites and parks it manages. The pass gives you entry to over 2,000 national parks nationwide. The pass has many benefits. Take advantage of the benefits!

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