National Parks offers some of the greatest treasures of America. Ranging from hiking up glacial peaks to navigating hiking trails and outdoor activities in scenic meadows, to exploring dense rainforests – there is something for everyone. However, visiting these natural wonders can be an expensive affair.

Read on as we share some alternatives that let you score cheap admission passes for national parks:

Annual Passes:

At just $80, an annual pass offers access to over 2,000 federal locations across the country. It covers entrance fees, day-use fees, and standard amenity fees and works with:

  • National Parks
  • Wildlife refuges
  • US Army Corps of Engineers lands
  • Bureau of Land Management lands
  • Bureau of Reclamation lands
  • National forests and grasslands

Alternatively, you can also access special discount passes in the case that you qualify for any of these programs:


Active US military members or their dependents can get a free annual interagency pass, simply by showing their CAC card or military ID at a federal recreation site.


All seniors who are over the age of 61 are eligible for a lifetime pass for just $80 or can purchase an annual pass for $20. Upon purchasing four annual senior passes, they can also turn them in for a lifetime pass. This seniors’ pass includes admission and offers a 50% discount on amenities.


Those having a permanent disability can avail of a free access pass, which covers the admission fees, with an additional 50% discount on special amenities. 

Fourth Graders:

The ‘Every Kid In A Park’ program provides an opportunity for every fourth grader in the country to experience the majesty of the country’s national parks and participate in exciting outdoor activities. Any student who is 10 years old, including home-schooled and free-choice learners, are eligible for this program. The pass is valid for 12 months from the start of September in the year that the student begins their fourth grade.


All volunteers who have logged in over 250 hours of service with any of the federal agencies that are a part of the Interagency Pass Program are also eligible for a free pass.

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