Update: In 2017 the cost of the lifetime Senior Pass increased from $10 to $80. Current Senior Passes remain valid. In addition, seniors can now also buy an annual Senior Pass for $20. That pass is valid for one year from the date of issuance.
By Jim Ferri
We’re all looking to save some money, especially in today’s economy. And if you’re a senior who travels almost anywhere in the U.S., here’s a good money-saving tip for you: buy an “America the Beautiful Senior Pass.”
Simply put, it’s one of the best travel bargains you’ll ever see anywhere in the world. For $10 – that’s for your lifetime, not per year – the pass gives you free entrance to all U.S. National Parks, historic sites, national monuments, recreation area and wildlife refuges, etc. In fact, it’s good at more than 2,000 locations that are managed by the National Park Service, the Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, as well as some Corps of Engineers and TVA sites. It replaces the old Golden Age Passport.
But there’s even better news. If you’re entering a park or area where you pay per vehicle, the pass also covers up to three other people in your car. That’s quite a savings when you consider that the per vehicle cost to enter Yellowstone or Grand Canyon National Park this year is $25 per car, $50 for an annual pass or $80 for an Interagency Annual Pass. At many sites it also provides the pass owner a discount on other fees such as camping, swimming, boat launching and guided tours.
You’re eligible to buy it if you’re over 62 years of age, and are a U.S. citizens or permanent resident. You must purchase it in-person at entrances or visitor centers at any of the participating parks or locations. Click here for a list of locations.