Hikers at Arches National Park

#TravelHacks: Save on National Park Entrance Fees, Because Mo’ Money, Money Problems

Cost: $80

If you’re planning on visiting more than three national parks in a year, the interagency or “America the Beautiful” Pass is an absolute must. This little guy gets you (and your friends, but we’ll talk about that below) into an unlimited number of national parks for a full year. On average, entrance to a single park is around $30, so multiply that by three parks and that’s a whole $90. For just $80, you can purchase the pass and visit all of the parks in  one year. You don’t need to be Bill Nye to figure that one out.

Now, you might be thinking “How am I ever going to have time to visit three national parks in one year? It’s just not worth it for me.” I beg to differ. There are 59 national parks in the United States and you only have to visit THREE to make the pass count. Especially for all of you following my #WestwardHo travels, you’re going to want this little magic card. BONUS: The pass may be signed (owned) by two people, meaning the cost just went down to $40 if you and a friend pitch in. You can use it at Grand Canyon National Park one week and the next Best Friend John can swim with the gators in the Everglades.

If you still require convincing, rest assured that 100% of the proceeds benefit our magnificent National Parks Service. And honestly, isn’t that worth it in itself?

America the Beautiful Interagency Pass
America the Beautiful Interagency Pass

So, let’s get down to the knitty gritty.

  • Anyone age 16+ can purchase one of these babies in person at any of the accepted locations, over the phone (888-275-8747, option 3) or online.
  • The pass is valid for 12 months.
  • Accepted locations are most sites requiring an entrance fee and managed by The Forest Service, the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Army Corp of Engineers.
  • At locations where you’re charged per carload, you plus anyone in your car will be admitted.
  • At locations where entrance fees are charged per person, you plus three friends will be admitted for free, all year, as many times as you can handle.
  • The pass comes in form of a card that fits into a hang tag. Leave it in your wallet or proudly display it on your rear view mirror in your car.
  • Non-entrance fees (such as campsite fees) are NOT covered, just entrance to the aforementioned sites.
  • For all of your additional questions, go here: http://store.usgs.gov/pass/annual.html

As always, comment with questions.

Bye, Bye, Bye,

Erica

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