America’s National Parks are natural treasures, so it’s fitting that those who protect the land (and the entire country) are rewarded with free admission passes to enjoy them. Active-duty military personnel and their dependents can receive an America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Annual Pass for FREE (an $80 value).
This free pass will grant active Military and their families access to more than 2,000 national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands.
A free lifetime Military Pass is available for Gold Star Families and US military veterans. A free annual Military Pass is available for current US military members and their dependents. The passes provide free access to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks, wildlife refuges, and forests.
Free Annual Pass for Active Military and their families
For parks with a vehicle admission, the pass will cover the car in which the pass owner is riding in. And for parks with a per-person admission, the pass covers the pass owner and three (3) accompanying adults age 16 and older.
There is no entry fee charged for children 15 and under. Pass owner and up to 3 other bicyclists can enter for free at most parks, but check in advance for the policy of each park. Before visiting a park, please check the park website to determine its operating status.
While there are only a handful of parks that are covered under this pass near Las Vegas, there are SO many others around the U.S. that would be free while you are traveling, and some that you shouldn’t miss.
Popular parks that are covered under this pass include Grand Canyon National Park (AZ), Petrified Forest (AZ), Death Valley (CA)(NV), Joshua Tree (CA), Sequoia National Park (CA), Yosemite (CA), Great Sand Dunes (CO), Rocky Mountain (CO), Yellowstone National Park (ID)(MT)(WY), Arches National Park (pictured below) (UT), Bryce Canyon National Park (UT), and Zion National Park (UT) just to name a few.
Here is the link for Lake Mead. You can get your passes here, or head to your favorite park on the list above and get your pass at the entrance with valid ID. You can also order this free pass from the USGS Online Store. Processing and shipping fees will be charged for online orders.
Military Veterans and Gold Star Family Free Access Program
The Interagency Military Pass covers entrance fees and standard amenity fees (day use fees) at lands managed by the National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Army Corps of Engineers for current US military members, and dependents of current military members, US military veterans, and Gold Star Families. In recent years, they were able to receive annual passes. The new interagency Military Lifetime Passes are available starting November 11, 2022.
The entrance fee waiver does not cover expanded amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, transportation, special recreation permits or special tours. Before visiting a national park site, Gold Star Family members download and print a voucher to present to the ranger or place on the vehicle dashboard at unstaffed sites. Please see the link for more details, who is eligible and to print your voucher.
Veterans and Gold Star Families receive free lifetime access.
Other National Parks Passes
See the whole list of passes available here, including a Free Access pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities. Passes available for Seniors over age 62, both Annual and Lifetime. You can purchase a Senior pass for $20 or $80 in person at a federal recreation site, online, or through the mail using the application provided at the link. Annual Passes for everyone, and don’t forget free passes for US 4th Graders.
Need inspiration for specific trip ideas and things to do? Parks have suggestions for self-guided activities to enjoy the winter season. See the link here for Winter Trip ideas.
Check out this List of Entrance Fees by Park to find out which parks charge a fee and how much. Choose the pass that fits you and your family and visit the beauty of our National Parks today. Feel free to send to any active-duty Military member and Veterans you may know!
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