Nat'l Parks Pass?!

7:47 p.m. on February 17, 2011 (EST)
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39 forum posts

How does this work?  Will I get to park overnight for free in nat'l parks, or is it only day entry?  Thanks.

8:41 p.m. on February 17, 2011 (EST)
244 reviewer rep
5,429 forum posts

Depends on the park, different parks offer different thing with the park pass, but the main thing is the cost of the card will pay for itself in 4-5 visits and with one card you and a carload of friends/relatives can visit all the national parks you can get to in one year. You just need your Drivers License or I.D. to prove you are the owner of the card (so like you can't loan it to a friend).

12:56 a.m. on February 18, 2011 (EST)
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202 forum posts

The pass will get you into any National Park in the country. Once in, if you want to camp at a car camp site, you will have to pay whatever additional fees are posted for that location. I have found them to range anywhere from $14 a night up to about $18. If you are going to back country camp there are no additional fees to park your car in the park.

12:35 p.m. on February 18, 2011 (EST)
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5,429 forum posts

Some parks do cahrge tho for camping and dayhiking in the backcountry.

4:55 p.m. on February 19, 2011 (EST)
25 reviewer rep
160 forum posts

Just covers entrance fees right?

5:57 p.m. on February 19, 2011 (EST)
244 reviewer rep
5,429 forum posts

Pretty much...

3:15 a.m. on March 21, 2011 (EDT)
46 reviewer rep
19 forum posts

I believe the amenities included with an annual pass fee differ from park to park.  Here in Hawaii, the annual pass extends to both Haleakala Natiional Park on Maui and Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island (Hawaii).  The cost of this annual pass is $25.  Vehicle entry fees are $10 for a 3 days.  At Haleakala, this includes drive-up tent camping for 3 days as well.  3 visits / camping trips exceeds the cost of the pass!  It's a great deal if you use the pass.

8:54 p.m. on March 25, 2011 (EDT)
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1,347 forum posts

Here's what the NPS says (below).  Personally I find it's a bit of a stretch to think I'd get my full value out of it each year.  For example I paid $80 for mine last May, and have entered Yosemite 3 times since then.  I need one more entrance to break even, or I'd need to go twice to most other parks out here that only charge $10.   But I'm good with that ... even if I don't "fully utilize" it, I'm doing my small part to contribute to the maintenance of the parks.

Your Annual Pass covers Entrance Fees or Standard Amenity Fees at sites managed by U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USDA FS), National Park Service (NPS), Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS),  Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation).

  • Valid for one full year from month of validation.
  • Provides entrance or access to pass owner and accompanying passengers in a single, private, non-commercial vehicle at Federal operated recreation sites across the country.
  • Covers the pass owner and three (3) accompanying adults age 16 and older at sites where per person entrance fees are charged.  No entry fee for children 15 and under.
  • Photo identification may be required to verify ownership.
  • Passes are NON-REFUNDABLE, NON-TRANSFERABLE, and cannot be replaced if lost or stolen.
  • Fees vary widely across the thousands of Federal Recreation sites. Please contact specific sites directly for information on what is or is not covered.
  • If you are 62 or older or receive disability benefits, you may be eligible for the Senior or Access pass.


8:58 p.m. on March 25, 2011 (EDT)
1,477 reviewer rep
1,347 forum posts

Actually I take that back.  I also used it to enter Muir Woods, for myself & a friend in my vehicle.  That's another $10 in value.  :)

Hmmm pretty soon I'll start to feel bad because I'm not paying to enter, and the park system I'm enjoying is suffering from lack of funds :-|

April 9, 2020
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