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One of the perks for Seniors visiting National Parks has been the extremely low cost of a lifetime pass. Currently, for only $10, Seniors can pick up lifetime access to all US National Parks. Fees are increasing as part of a larger plan to finance several major projects and to improve the services offered by the National Park Service.
While an exact date of when the increase will take effect has not been set, the park service expects it before the end of 2017. When the change occurs the fee for a lifetime pass for Seniors who are over 62 will increase from $10 to $80. However, Seniors will still be able to purchase an annual pass for only $20, and if at a future date they opt to purchase a lifetime pass, then they can have the $20 credited towards the $80 cost of the lifetime pass.
Why The Increase?
The change is being put in place after the National Park Service Centennial Act was approved by Congress earlier this month. The Act will raise park fees, and set up an endowment that is aimed to pay for improving visitor services, and fund other projects. This is the first increase in the cost of a Senior pass since 1994, when the fee jumped to its current level. The Act also aims to improve the experience of park visitors, and provide people with more opportunities to do voluntary work at various parks across the country.
Until the change is implemented, Seniors who wish to purchase a pass can still do so at the lower price of $10. Passes can be bought from any National Park, or they can be purchased online, where they cost $10 plus an additional $10 service fee.
Until the Parks Administration announces the change, they are letting people know informally that this price hike is coming. According to Parks’ Service Spokeswoman, Kathy Kuper “We don’t want anyone to feel blindsided and say, ‘Why didn’t anyone tell us about this.'”
Source: AARP Travel
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