For seniors who enjoy exploring the many national parks this country has to offer, the price will soon be going up. For years, a lifetime pass has been available to purchase. This pass allows seniors to have access to a variety of locations across the country, including America’s national parks.
This convenient pass has been available for $10 for a lifetime pass since 1994. Now, for the first time in over twenty years, the price will increase. The lifetime senior pass will cost $80 beginning August 28th, 2017. However, for those who act fast, the lifetime senior pass will still be available for $10 up until August 28th.
There are many great reasons to purchase one of these passes. They encourage seniors to get out and explore the country, they are a terrific value and even provide extra discounts on park amenities, and they never expire, so they do not need to be repurchased each year.
There are very few places that offer such an amazing deal, and the fact that these passes can be used at so many different locations is truly incredible. For seniors looking to get out and enjoy their golden years, an America the Beautiful lifetime senior pass is a terrific option.
The Perks of a Pass
Those who are 62 years of age or older, have documentation of their age, and can prove permanent residency or citizenship in the United States are eligible to purchase an America the Beautiful lifetime pass. This pass will give seniors the opportunity to see things they may not have seen before, create new memories, and enjoy their leisure time while learning and expanding their horizons.
Across the United States, there are over 417 national parks which encompass over 84 million acres of land across the country. This gives pass holders nearly endless opportunities to see and do new and exciting things in a natural setting. In addition to the national parks, there are many other areas across the United States the being a lifetime pass holder provides access to.
The following areas are included with a lifetime pass:
- National Park Service
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Bureau of Land Management
- Bureau of Reclamation
- U.S. Forest Service
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Purchasing a lifetime senior pass opens up endless opportunities for the pass holder. There are so many incredible places to see and things to do across America at national parks and beyond.
Purchasing a Pass
Until August 28th, 2017, seniors can still purchase a lifetime pass for $10. This window of time is dwindling, so it is best to act fast. There are a few different ways to purchase a lifetime senior pass. No matter how the pass is purchased, it must be done soon to avoid paying the increased price.
The best and fastest way to purchase an America the Beautiful lifetime pass is by visiting a site that sells the passes in person. There are many sites across the country that can issue these passes immediately upon request. By purchasing a pass in person, seniors can ensure that they are able to use their pass immediately and do not have to wait for any amount of processing time.
Passes can also be purchased online via the USGS website. This way may take up to three months to complete. Also, applicants must pay an additional $10 for processing fees when purchasing a pass online.
The last way to purchase a lifetime pass is to do so by traditional mail. This method will require applicants to print out the applications, copy their proof of age and residency documents, and mail in a check for $20 to cover the cost of the pass and processing fees.
When passes rise to $80, there will be a new annual senior pass available for $20. This pass is valid for twelve months after the date of purchase and is a great option for those who do not want to dive into a more expensive lifetime membership.
The large leap in cost for senior lifetime passes, while initially troubling for buyers, will do a world of good across the park system. This extra money will go towards making improvements and maintaining the land for generations to come. It will also be used for new projects to make national parks more appealing to more people.
The National Park Service announced what the plans for these extra funds will be on their website, saying:
“The first $10 million collected by the National Park Service in each fiscal year from Senior Pass sales will be deposited in the Second Century Endowment for the National Park Service managed by the National Park Foundation. The foundation is the congressionally authorized philanthropic partner, or official charity, of the National Park Service. Funds within the Second Century Endowment will be expended on projects and activities approved by the Secretary of Interior to further the mission and purpose of the National Park Service. All revenues collected from sales by the National Park Service of National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes, including the Senior Pass, that are in excess of $10 million will be deposited in the National Park Centennial Challenge Fund. The funds will be used for projects and programs approved by the Secretary of the Interior to the mission of the National Park Service and to enhance the visitor experience in National Park System units. Projects and programs will require at least a one-to-one match by non-federal donations.”
These extra funds will go a long way to ensure that the beauty of these gorgeous landscapes is preserved for years to come. Seniors who pay more for their lifetime passes can feel some pride and comfort in knowing they are securing the future of national parks for generations to come.
Lifetime Passes are Still a Great Value
Though the price is increased, even $80 is a terrific value when accounting for all the amazing things a lifetime senior pass can provide. As seniors hit the open road to enjoy their retirement years or just to enjoy more vacation time, they can experience all the natural wonder that this incredible country has to offer for a very reasonable price.