All U.S. veterans and Gold Star family members will be able to get a free lifetime entrance pass for federal parks and recreation sites nationwide starting Nov. 11.
The pass, an expansion on the annual free pass for currently serving troops and their families, grants free access to about 2,000 parks and lands managed by the National Park Service; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Forest Service; Bureau of Land Management; Bureau of Reclamation; and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to an announcement on the park service website. It also gives discounted amenity fees in some locations.
While not every park or visitor area requires an entrance fee, many do. For example, Yosemite National Park in California charges a $35 entrance fee per vehicle, while Craters of the Moon National Monument charges $20. Other locations charge for entering museum or curation areas in the visitor center. For instance, the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center in the Chugach National Forest, Alaska, charges $5 per adult to access a film and exhibits.
Those fees are waived for holders of the new lifetime pass, as well as those with the free active-duty America the Beautiful military pass or other passes sold or awarded by the agencies. The new pass covers the holder and any accompanying passengers in a private vehicle at sites that charge per car, or the pass owners and up to three adults age 16 and over at sites that charge per person.