Planning matters

National Parks: Don’t Wait to Get Your Senior Pass!

Do you have someone in your life 62 or older? Of course, we all do! Don’t let them miss out on a lifetime deal that is soon to change.

Olympic, Crater Lake, Yosemite, Glacier and the Grand Canyon; some of the most beautiful places in the world. We are so lucky to have treasures like these close to home. Most of us either have been or hope to visit most of these places and more! But have we all considered the cost?

Each of these parks has a general entrance fee ranging from $15-$25 per vehicle or $3-$12 per person. However, if you are 62 or older and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) also offers a $10 lifetime senior pass. What a deal! However, they have announced that this deal will be changing soon. The lifetime pass will still be available, but the cost will be increasing to $80/pass. There is no official date yet for the change, but it is likely to be this year.

What does the pass get you?

  • Entrance to over 2,000 recreation sites managed by five Federal agencies. One vehicle in a per-vehicle fee area – or – the pass owner + 3 adults in a per-person fee area
  • Discounts at many Federal Recreation sites on Expanded Amenity Fees such as camping, swimming, boat launching and guided tours.

For an overview of the pass benefits, please visit the USGS Overview Page.

Ok, so you’re interested. How do you or 62+ friends purchase a pass?

  • In person: Visit one of the recreational sites that issues passes. Here’s a full list (pdf). It’s a good idea to call ahead to make sure they have passes available and for their office hours. Here are just a few local offices:
    • The Fort Vancouver National Historic Site at 1501 E Evergreen Blvd (360) 816-6230
    • The Bureau of Land Management in Portland at 1220 SW 3rd Ave. (503) 808-6001
  • Online: Visit the USGS Store here. Due to increased interest in this pass, there is a six-week processing time. A few other things to note about purchasing online:
    • There is an additional $10 fee for processing. So, a total cost of $20.
    • Proof of age and citizenship must be scanned and uploaded with your application (driver’s license, passport, or state-issued ID).
  • Mail: Upload the Paper Application (pdf). Also note:
    • There is an additional $10 fee for processing, so the total cost is $20.
    • You will need to include a copy of proof of citizenship and age to the application (driver’s license, passport, or state-issued ID).

You never know, buying this pass may be what it takes to get you or your loved ones out and exploring all that is beautiful around us. Plus, the next time you come in for a review, you can tell your planner that you are working towards your financial goals by saving money on entrance fees! We love to hear about the places you’ve been and the places you plan to visit.