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America The Beautiful: Your Pass to the National Parks Across the U.S.

‘America the beautiful’ is quite the perfect name for a national park pass, isn’t it? If you’re looking to do some traveling across the states this year, you’ll want to look into purchasing this pass. For only $80 a year, you’ll gain entrance to over 2,000 federal recreation sites. This includes national parks and national wildlife refuges, as well as national forests, grasslands, land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.   


Although not all national parks charge an entrance fee, some of the more popular destinations do. For example, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Badlands, Big Bend, Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Zion charge either a per vehicle or per person fee to enter. Some of which can be pricey.


However, with an America the Beautiful Annual Pass in hand, your entrance fee, amenity fees and day use fees for your vehicle (including passengers) will be covered.

Now, let’s get down to the details.

There are five types of passes:

-Annual Pass (Free for U.S. Military)

-Senior Pass

-Access Pass

-Volunteer Pass

-Annual 4th Grade Pass

The Annual Pass is for everyone and can be purchased for only $80 online, in-person, or by phone. If you are currently in the U.S. Military, you can obtain a free annual pass simply by showing your Common Access Card (CAC) or Military ID (Form 1173) in-person at a federal recreation site that issues passes.


The Senior Pass is for anyone who is a U.S citizen or permanent resident over the age of 62. There are two options available to purchase; a $20 annual fee, or an $80 lifetime fee. You can purchase this pass in-person, by mail, or online. Certain conditions apply.

The Access Pass is for any U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a permanent disability. The pass is free and can be obtained by mail (by filling out an application form) or in-person. You must provide documentation of your permanent disability and U.S. citizenship.

According to the NPS, The Volunteer Pass is free and for “volunteers with 250 service hours with federal agencies that participate in the Interagency Pass Program.”

The Annual 4th Grade Pass is a free pass specifically designed for kids who are in the fourth grade beginning in September and ending in August. Kids must be U.S. citizens and obtain a paper permit called the Every Kid in a Park pass. Once they have their paper pass, they can exchange it for an Annual 4th Grade Pass at a federal recreation site that charges an entrance or standard amenity fee.

For more information and details about each pass, including where to buy them online, visit this website.


Start planning your journey today with your annual pass in hand. For lodging and adventure tours near some of the most popular national park destinations across the U.S., check out what we have to offer at Forever Resorts.


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