Big Lagoon State Park, West Pensacola, Florida - May 9, 2017

Big Lagoon State Park, West Pensacola, Florida - May 9, 2017
Big Lagoon State Park, West Pensacola, Florida - May 9, 2017

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Parks -- Thurs., Apr. 17

National Park Week starts this weekend. From Monday, April 22, through Friday, April 26, all National Parks are waiving their entrance fees. If you are anywhere near a National Park, National Monument, National Seashore, National Battlefield, National Historical Site that normally charges entrance fees, next week is a good time to get in free.

If you miss out on the National Park Week offer, we recommend that you obtain or buy one of the following passes, especially if you plan to sightsee at numerous national parks within the year:
  • America the Beautiful - 2013 Annual Pass - $80 (AKA Interagency Annual Pass)
    Good at all national parks, seashores, monuments, etc., and federal recreation areas. The pass admits the pass holder(s) and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at "per vehicle" fee areas, and pass holder plus three adults at "per person" fee areas. (Children under 16 are admitted free.) The pass is good for one year from the date of purchase. The pass is not valid for Expanded Amenity Fees such as camping or parking at Mt. Rushmore.
  • Free Annual Pass for Military (AKA Military Annual Pass)
    For active duty military personnel and dependents with proper identification. Pass must be issued in person.
  • America the Beautiful - Senior Pass - $10 (AKA Interagency Senior Pass)
    This is a lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or older. The Senior Pass can only be obtained in person at a park. The pass admits the pass holder(s) and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at "per vehicle" fee areas, and pass holder plus three adults at "per person" fee areas. (Children under 16 are admitted free.) The Senior Pass provides a 50% discount on some Expanded Amenity Fees charged for camping, swimming, boat launch and specialized interpretive services. In some cases where Expanded Amenity Fees are charged, only the pass holder will be given the 50% reduction.
  • America the Beautiful - Access Pass - Free. (AKA Interagency Access Pass)
    This is a lifetime pass for U.S. citizens and permanent residents with permanent disabilities. The Access Pass can only be obtained in person at a park entrance or visitor center. Documentation is required to obtain the pass. Acceptable documentation includes: statement by a licensed physician; document issued by a Federal agency such as the Veteran's Administration, Social Security Disability Income or document issued by a State agency such as a vocational rehabilitation agency. The pass admits the pass holder(s) and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at "per vehicle" fee areas, and pass holder plus three adults at "per person" fee areas. (Children under 16 are admitted free.) The Accesss Pass provides a 50% discount on some Expanded Amenity Fees charged for camping, swimming, boat launch and specialized interpretive services. In some cases where Expanded Amenity Fees are charged, only the pass holder will be given the 50% reduction.
  • America the Beautiful -- 2013 Volunteer Pass - Free 
    This pass is for volunteers who acquire 250 service hours on a cumulative basis. Good for one year beginning with the date of the award. The pass admits the pass holder(s) and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at "per vehicle" fee areas, and pass holder plus three adults at "per person" fee areas. (Children under 16 are admitted free.)
  • Some of the major National Parks also have a park-specific annual pass for $50.

Bob and I love frequenting national parks. Even when we think there may not be anything interesting there, we're wrong. We love exploring trails, reading history, checking the visitor centers for geology and animals in the park, and absorbing the experience. Each park is different.

Summer's coming. I urge you to get out and explore our national parks and federal recreation sites. Hike, discover, fish, watch sunsets, go on ranger-led tours, photograph, smell the air, search for wildlife, and have fun!

Welcome to Jen of Boots and Blue Stockings. She found her way here through the A-to-Z blogging Challenge. Jen loves to travel and eat. She has a great blog post about New Zealand and Oman. Hop on over and check out her blog.

16 comments:

  1. I'm fairly sure I've been to Big Bend. But it would have been back in 1998, so a while ago now.

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    1. We were there last April. It was a good time to go as it wasn't very crowded.

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  2. My birthday this year was a special celebration that resulted in my Senior National Park Pass. What a fabulous bargain!!

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    1. In 1-1/2 years I can get my senior national park pass. Can't wait!

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  3. We got the Geezer Pass and it is well worth it. It is also good for many forest service and BLM areas. We love those national parks.

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  4. Love the park pass! Best money ever spent!

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    1. Don't leave home without it, er, um, wait a minute...our home is with us.

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  5. We will see many many of the America the Beautiful Senior Pass at Hardin Ridge. What a great buy! National Parks are definitely America's treasures.

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    1. Agreed on the great buy and America's treasures.

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  6. Susan, one other thing about the America the Beautiful pass. They can only be obtained through the mail with a $10 processing fee or for free at any national park or monument. Corp of Engineer parks used to do them but because of a change in the agreement between the Corp and the department that actually issues them they no longer can issue them. They do however accept them for 50% off of camping fees.

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    1. Thank you for the information, Doris. How are you two??

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  7. I was really happy to get my lifetime pass national pass. The only problem is you have to be in the eyes of many "old". It knocks off 50% on BLM campgrounds as well.

    The best deal out there locally is a New Mexico parks pass. For a non-resident 62 it's $220 and that gets you a $10 spot that you can even get bigger stuff into for 365 days straight. Water or electric is $4. No other fees apply if you are camping unlike many other places like Texas and Colorado. I think these parks are very nice places and several have the internets to every campsite and it runs at 5MB. They give you a lot of room and the facilities have always been more than acceptable even with cuts. I can't afford to camp in Colorado SP as it's almost 20 smacks.

    If you are a New Mexico reident and a senior that pass costs a $100. Even at $220 it's a steal and the very reason some choose to live in them and it could be me too. too

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    1. Thank you for the info on New Mexico parks pass. Always looking for bargains we can us.

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  8. Not real excited about the free week. There are all ready too many people. I guess hiking outside the park is the name of the game this coming week.

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  9. I see your point. Some of the parks are already too crowded, like you said.

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