One of the biggest bargains in retirement travel is about to go away.
The America the Beautiful Senior Pass, which gives anyone 62 or older lifetime access to National Parks for just $10, will increase to $80 beginning August 28th. Seniors will still be able to buy an unlimited access annual pass for $10. The America the Beautiful Pass is sold at all National Parks and online at https://store.usgs.gov/senior-pass.
The price hike was mandated by federal legislation passed in 2016. Seniors can at least take comfort in knowing that revenue from the increase will help ensure our National Parks will be wondrous for generations to come. The money will fund park upkeep and other budget shortfalls. The Park Service sold 662,000 America the Beautiful Senior Passes in 2016.
Our 59 National Parks need that help. They face a $12 billion maintenance backlog that covers everything from visitor centers and parking lots to hiking trails. More than a third of those trials are considered to be in poor condition.
So, whether you get the bargain price or pay the new rate, think of your America the Beautiful Senior Pass not as an expense, but as an investment in protecting a national treasure.