National Park entrance fees can start to add up as you make your way around this beautiful country, exploring some of the most beautiful scenery that it has to offer. Colorful Colorado just so happens to have four of these national parks including Mesa Verde National Park, the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and the famous Rocky Mountain National Park. All of these locations have great areas for hiking, camping, and sometimes special events and programs. There are also home to some of the world’s most diverse scenery and wildlife.

An annual ‘America the Beautiful’ national parks pass allows you to access more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across the nation. This includes free entry to more than 400 national parks, and wildlife refugees at forests and grasslands throughout the U.S. Some national parks will implement a per person fee for entrance, but others will allow one pass to account for everyone in a single vehicle, regardless of the number of passengers. Entrance fees generate hundreds of millions of dollars for the National Park Service per year. The majority of the revenue goes directly back to the park where it was collected to help with repairs and maintenance. The rest is spent on visitor services and habitat restoration.

The mission of the National Parks Service is to “cooperate with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.” They aim to promote the enjoyment aspects of these beautiful surroundings, as well as the educational and inspirational purposes that they hold for future generations.

Here is a list of federal recreation areas where interagency passes are issued throughout the nation. There are four different types of park passes offered in the United States. Regular annual passes are $80 a year. Passes are free for U.S military members, dependents in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, Reserve and National Guard members. The Access Pass is also available for U.S. citizens with permanent disabilities. A senior annual pass is only $20, and entrance is free for children under 15 years of age. This is free of charge and provides access to all national parks with discounted camping prices as well. There are 4 dates that are usually free every year if you decide against an annual pass. The first two are January 15th for MLK Jr’s birthday, April 21st for the first day of National Park Week. There are two more you can catch in 2018 if you have missed the first two. September 22nd is National Public Lands Day, and November 11th is Veterans Day. If you don’t get around to purchasing a pass this season, make sure to mark your calendar with these dates. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast who has the time and desire to save a bit of money, you can also consider working for a volunteer program that will get you free or discounted rates at some national parks. This is a popular idea for RVers and retirees. This deal also includes free parking at particular parks.

These gorgeous lands with their serene landscapes and awe-inspiring vistas provide an array of outdoor activities that allow these locations to be suitable for just about anyone. You can learn more about the “America the Beautiful” national parks passes here.

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