Seniors can expect a big jump sometime after August 27, 2017, in the fee for a lifetime pass to visit national parks. The change is part of a move to pay for major projects and enhanced services.
The fee for a lifetime pass for citizens 62 and older will go from $10 to $80. To qualify, you need to be 62 or older and a permanent US citizen.
This pass gives you free access to more than 2,000 Federal recreation sites where Entrance or Standard Amenity Fee(s) (Day use fees) are charged. Those parks and lands are areas run by these agencies: the following agencies:
•Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
•Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation)
•Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
•USDA Forest Service (USDA FS)
•National Park Service (NPS)
•US Army Corp of Engineers (USACE)
The senior pass also gives camping discounts at some locations.
You can apply for this national parks pass by mail with this printable application or by using this online application found here. When you apply, you will need to upload proof of residency and age. This may be done by scanning or taking a photograph of the document and uploading during the ordering process.
Note that while the pass is technically $10, there is a document processing fee of $10 making the actual cost $20. While there hasn't been an official date announced, don't get caught off guard, the pass is expected to go up soon. If you or someone you know qualify and haven't applied for your pass yet, now is the time to do so.