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Old 12-07-2016, 11:25 AM   #15
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Old 12-07-2016, 04:17 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Old Radios View Post
Here's a list of places to purchase: https://store.usgs.gov/pass/PassIssuanceList.pdf

Most places I have seen around here you can get to without paying an entrance fee or camping fee first. My guess is you could just explain you were going in to get a pass right then if that wasn't the case. I did have to show my drivers license showing I was a U.S. resident when I got mine at 62.
My comment was based on a visit a few years ago to Jennings Randolph Lake Campground (WV and MD), which I believe is managed by the Corp. of Engineers. I had left our card at home in OR and no amount of explaining was going to get the reduced price. On the way back we also stopped overnight at a FS campground near YNP where I "pretended" to have a card and placed the reduced fee into an envelope. We bought another card at YNP entrance.

Explaining may work, but I wouldn't depend on it.

Just my 2c.

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Old 12-08-2016, 11:26 PM   #17
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Unless there is a great advantage to buying on line you could just plan on getting one when you travel, you should be able to buy at any of the national parks. Since it is an annual pass it lasts a full 365 days so it may be beneficial to wait.
It's a lifetime pass. It doesn't matter when you buy it. Do what we did- don't sweat it til you get to someplace where you need it, then buy one. I would suggest you both get one. That way, you can use separate vehicles, or you may not be with your spouse at the time the pass is needed. Keep one in your wallet. They're ten bucks!
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Old 12-09-2016, 05:16 PM   #18
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It's a lifetime pass. It doesn't matter when you buy it. Do what we did- don't sweat it til you get to someplace where you need it, then buy one. I would suggest you both get one. That way, you can use separate vehicles, or you may not be with your spouse at the time the pass is needed. Keep one in your wallet. They're ten bucks!
The problem is, as I said above, that you may need it to save on campground fees before getting to a park where they are sold. Then what? That isn't so bad for one night, but if you plan to be there for most of a month, as we did, it can get expensive.

We have two now.

Steve
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Old 12-09-2016, 07:34 PM   #19
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Buying a pass at the entrance gate or the visitor center works and you can then get the discounted camping fee. We've volunteered in parks and that's how it worked.

Trying to explain that you left it behind definitely will not work.
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Old 12-09-2016, 07:51 PM   #20
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What "U.S. National Parks Pass" are you talking about??
There are several passes. This explains them.

https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm

I have an Access Pass that was free and lasts my lifetime. I acquired it at the entrance gate at the first National Park I entered -- Badlands in South Dakota. Had I ordered it online I would have had to submit a doctor's statement. At the gate all I needed to show was my disability parking hanging placard.

Also an FYI -- many National Parks and Monuments have reserved parking in the RV lots for Access Pass holders. At the Grand Canyon that made for about a 1/2 mile shorter walk.
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Old 12-09-2016, 07:58 PM   #21
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There are several passes. This explains them.

https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm

I have an Access Pass that was free and lasts my lifetime. I acquired it at the entrance gate at the first National Park I entered -- Badlands in South Dakota. Had I ordered it online I would have had to submit a doctor's statement. At the gate all I needed to show was my disability parking hanging placard.

Also an FYI -- many National Parks and Monuments have reserved parking in the RV lots for Access Pass holders. At the Grand Canyon that made for about a 1/2 mile shorter walk.
I have the same lifetime Access pass.
I showed the people in St Marys, GA. my Medicare card and proof of age, of 58, at the time.
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Old 12-09-2016, 10:38 PM   #22
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The problem is, as I said above, that you may need it to save on campground fees before getting to a park where they are sold. Then what? That isn't so bad for one night, but if you plan to be there for most of a month, as we did, it can get expensive.

We have two now.

Steve
I apologize for that. I just assumed (we all know where that will get you) that if they accepted them, they sold them.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:01 AM   #23
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The OP seems to be a Canadian citizen so the lifetime disability (free) and senior ($10) passes are not an option for him; they are for US citizens and legal residents. These are the only passes that give you a camping discount. If the OP wants just a year-long visitor pass ($80), he can buy it at any place that requires an entrance fee plus any associated Government office - US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, etc. This pass does not give camping discounts so you don't need it in advance.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:42 AM   #24
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I apologize for that. I just assumed (we all know where that will get you) that if they accepted them, they sold them.
Thank you, I think your assumption would be correct in the majority of cases.

Our problem started when we took some friends who were visiting to Crater Lake and instead of returning the card to my wallet I laid it in the cup holder of the car I was driving. A few weeks later we were in WV and the card was.....still in the car which was in OR. I didn't discover this until I went to Jennings Randolph and was then told they didn't sell them and that I would have to pay the full price without it. We found an alternate campground in the area and stayed there for less.

I think (assume??) based on some of the conversation I had with the park attendant at Jennings Randolph that there is a computer database of cardholders that most related govt. agencies would have access to, but not Jennings Randolph. Perhaps someone here could confirm or refute this, but it would be good to know with certainty.

I think the previous advice to keep it in your wallet is sound. just be sure to put it back after removing it. :-O

Best of luck and enjoy.

Steve
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Old 12-11-2016, 01:51 AM   #25
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Thank you, I think your assumption would be correct in the majority of cases.

Our problem started when we took some friends who were visiting to Crater Lake and instead of returning the card to my wallet I laid it in the cup holder of the car I was driving. A few weeks later we were in WV and the card was.....still in the car which was in OR. I didn't discover this until I went to Jennings Randolph and was then told they didn't sell them and that I would have to pay the full price without it. We found an alternate campground in the area and stayed there for less.

I think (assume??) based on some of the conversation I had with the park attendant at Jennings Randolph that there is a computer database of cardholders that most related govt. agencies would have access to, but not Jennings Randolph. Perhaps someone here could confirm or refute this, but it would be good to know with certainty.

I think the previous advice to keep it in your wallet is sound. just be sure to put it back after removing it. :-O

Best of luck and enjoy.

Steve
I don't know if there is a database. When we bought ours, all the Ranger did was check our id for our age, and then just handed us the cards. Nothing written down or recorded. I know we paid cash, but I really don't even remember getting a receipt, but surely we must have.
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Old 12-11-2016, 03:02 AM   #26
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I found this notice recently about the pass:

http://www.daysenddirectory.com/senior.pdf

There is no mention on the website but I bought it anyway just incase
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Old 12-11-2016, 05:01 AM   #27
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I don't know if there is a database. When we bought ours, all the Ranger did was check our id for our age, and then just handed us the cards. Nothing written down or recorded. I know we paid cash, but I really don't even remember getting a receipt, but surely we must have.
There is no database. if you lose your pass you have to buy another. You can't loan your pass out; not even to your spouse. When you enter a park, you must produce your driver's license and the signature on the pass must match the signature on the driver's license.
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:16 PM   #28
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Thanks for the correct info about the database. That was an assumption on my part and, as mentioned previously, we know what that does.

Also thanks for the info about the raise in card prices. I already have a couple, but I'm sure there are others do not. It's also good to know what our "representatives" are doing to improve our lives.

Steve
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