Get it while you can! If you're 62 or older -- and you love visiting national parks -- you need to buy your lifetime parks pass while it's still only $10.

Since 1994, the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass has allowed senior citizens to visit more than 2,000 recreation sites (as many as you want, as many times as you want) for a flat one-time-only fee of $10. But that's all about to change. The lifetime parks pass for seniors will increase to $80 on August 28. With the pass, U.S. citizens and permanent residents age 62 and older (and their traveling companions) can receive free entry and discounted amenities at parks and spaces operated by the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Even though the price is increasing, the benefits of all the senior lifetime parks passes will remain the same. [caption id="attachment_19511" align="aligncenter" width="650"]lifetime parks pass Image courtesy of Donna Guthrie[/caption]
There are a few different ways to get your $10 pass before the price goes up:
  • Visit a federal recreation site (one that charges a fee) or authorized pass issuance site before August 28 and provide proof of age and residency. Click here for a complete list of locations.
  • Purchase the pass online for an additional $10 processing fee. Please note that, due to an influx of requests, the passes purchased online are currently taking nine weeks to process. So if you plan to use the pass before then, you'll want to do it in person at one of the above locations.
  • Purchase the pass through the mail, again for a tacked-on $10 processing fee. Applications must be post-marked by August 27. These passes are taking 12 weeks to process, so plan accordingly.
The price of the senior lifetime parks pass is increasing due to federal legislation passed in December 2016, so that it matches that of the regular annual pass for non-seniors, with the additional funds going to benefit the National Parks Service. An annual Senior Pass is available for $20, if the new lifetime $80 price is too steep after the August 28 deadline. What are your favorite parks and recreational spaces to visit? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below!
Featured image of Great Falls National Park.

Here are some great Virginia beaches where you can take your new parks pass!