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Old 03-09-2016, 07:01 PM   #1
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National Park annual pass

Heading to Yellowstone in June. Visiting Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, then over to Black Hills and Badlands. Is it worth getting the annual parks pass? Looks like its going to cost me 65 for Yellowstone and Grand Tetons for 7 days. Black Hill and Badlands look like no charge.
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Old 03-09-2016, 07:44 PM   #2
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I've bought the annual pass 2 times in the last ~7 years. If I think we will be visiting multiple parks it is definitely worth it. It's good for a year from the date of purchase so you'll have to decide if you'll use it that much.

Also, in some states the recognize the pass for state parks also.

Once you reach 65 (I think this is the age) the pass is permanent.
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Old 03-09-2016, 08:01 PM   #3
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I think there is a combo pass for Yellowstone/Tetons that costs $50 for 7 days.

However, if you go into Badlands, you will pay a $15 per car entry fee.

If you go to Mt. Rushmore it will cost $11 per vehicle. You are now at $76 dollars.

The annual pass cost $80?

So, if you see a National Monument or another park near any of your stops in the next year, you will be ahead to buy the annual pass.

We bought our's in June of last year. It expires at the end of June this year. We got our money's worth for sure on that trip. Bonus this year will be a side trip we are taking to the Dry Tortugas while visiting the Florida Keys in June. We will get to knock $20 of the total fee because our passes will still be good.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:02 PM   #4
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Worth it. It was the second purchase on our list. First was weather radio.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:06 PM   #5
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If you're 65 or older it's a life time pass, cost about $10, which really reduces the cost.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:11 PM   #6
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We bought one in January, already got our money's worth, but we're retired and on the road.

One thing that the ranger who sold it to us said - you can have two names on the card. When you buy it only sign one name on the back. You can resell to someone else when you're done with it.

When I can get the Golden Age Passport - Lifetime $20 at age 62 (not that it will be anytime soon ) I'm giving my annual pass to my son.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:40 PM   #7
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https://store.usgs.gov/pass/senior.html

Golden age passport is replaced by the senior pass - age 62+
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:48 PM   #8
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Yep, it will save you $$$$
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Old 03-10-2016, 05:29 AM   #9
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Thank you for the replies everyone! Looks like its worth it for us. I'm only 34 so going to be a bit before I get the Golden Age passport.
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Old 03-10-2016, 11:46 AM   #10
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FYI Mt Rushmore $11 is not a charge that is waived with the Annual Pass. It is a concessionaire's charge for parking.
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Old 03-11-2016, 08:16 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ghaynes754 View Post
FYI Mt Rushmore $11 is not a charge that is waived with the Annual Pass. It is a concessionaire's charge for parking.
Oops, that is correct, sorry about that. No entry fee, just the parking fee that is not included on the annual pass.

I still think you will be far ahead to buy the pass. Take a look at the park services map and see all the places that will be free to enter with the pass for you for the next year. Then decide.
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Old 03-11-2016, 08:23 AM   #12
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Don't remember if this applies to annual pass, but senior pass ($10 at 62 for life) also gets up to 50% discount on many items including campgrounds. We have several Corp o Engineers lakes in our area. We get 50% discount on camping at them with senior pass.
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Old 03-11-2016, 08:43 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Timon View Post
If you're 65 or older it's a life time pass, cost about $10, which really reduces the cost.
Every 62 or older U.S. citizen, (and any permanent U.S. resident 62 or older), qualifies for the "$10 lifetime senior pass".
See: "Who qualifies for the Senior Pass?" here: https://store.usgs.gov/pass/senior.html

BTW these Federal agencies honor the Senior Pass at sites where Entrance or Day Use fees are charged.
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Old 03-11-2016, 09:07 AM   #14
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I have the disabled, "America the Beautiful" access pass

I get 50% off at COE and Outer Banks campgrounds and free entrance to Fed parks.

The odd part is I could drive Sky Line Drive for free but had to pay full price for camping at the Sky Line Drive camping areas.

Now that I am 62, I need to read up on the other pass.
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