Unfortunately, there is no total free pass for senior citizens to visit national parks, and while I though it was I found that it never existed.
This pass is available for everyone over the age of 62 and older and you have free entrance to most national parks.
However, there are still about 100 out of the 400 that you still have to pay to get in. You can find a list of the Free State Parks here.
There was always a small fee to get this pass. Before 1994 it was $10 for the lifetime pass but it has been raised since then to $80.
Since not everyone is able to afford that lifetime pass there is the option to pay annually and the price is then $20 per year.
So, it is better to get a lifetime card if you like to save money in the long run.
If you have an annual pass and like to upgrade to a lifetime pass you can do so at a discounted rate even if the pass has expired.
What about the current lifetime pass?
If you have a lifetime pass then this is still valid for the rest of your life.
Where Can You Use The Senior Card
The card can be used in over 2000 recreation sites that are managed by 6 federal agencies.
- National Park Service
- US Fish & Wildlife Service
- Bureau of Land Management
- Bureau of Reclamation
- US Forest Service
- US Army Corps of Engineers
The next option is to order your pass online at the USGC website at: https://store.usgs.gov/ where you can also download a paper form to submit.
What About Traveling Companions?
Here is where the card really helps. The official rule is that everyone who accompanies you in a non-commercial vehicle also gets a free entrance.
Where To Find National Parks
The easiest way is to find a national park online and this also will provide you with all the information you need.
The national park service has a website where you can find all the information you need at https://www.nps.gov/index.htm.
However, if you are looking for a park that is not too far away you can also “Google” the “term national park near me” and this will provide you with a list of parks that are near where you are located.
I found a video that claims that they have the 25 best national parks. Remember that this is their opinion and maybe I or you have a different opinion.
Eddie Vandam, the voice behind the Senior Citizen Website, is a retired internet marketer and proud senior. With a passion for helping fellow seniors navigate the complexities of aging, Eddie shares his insights on health, independence, products, and enriching hobbies. He’s committed to making senior years both fulfilling and enjoyable. Read more about Eddie Vandam.