Since 1994, the National Park Service (NPS) lifetime Senior Pass, which is good for admission to all national parks and monuments, was available to US citizens and permanent residents age 62 or older for a mere song – just $10. That’s all set to change in 2017 when the cost will rise to that of a standard Annual Pass, or $80. And although you my think that’s quite a jump, it’s not a bad deal when you consider it’s good for the rest of your life.
And let’s face it, the national parks need the money, and the extra money collected from the increased Senior Pass price will help pay for visitor services and projects. That’s why President Obama signed the National Park Service Centennial Act into law on December 16, 2016. Not only does this act raise some fees, but it also sets up an endowment to help the NPS pay for repairs and improvements. And that’s a win-win situation in my book.
And if $80 is too much of a strain on your budget all at once, you can spread the cost out over four years. For $20 you can get an annual Senior Pass, and you can apply that yearly fee to the cost of a lifetime Senior Pass at a later point.
As for implementation, well, the NPS says the new fees will be in place by the end of 2017, but they couldn’t be more specific than that. In other words, they aren’t sure of how long it will take them to implement these changes. So if you are eligible for the Senior Pass and you happen to find one for $10 in the early part of the year, grab that deal because it will soon be gone.
Still, even at $80 this lifetime pass is a great deal.