Sometimes I wish I was a little bit older.
I’m not trying to wish my years away, not really. I do occasionally pout that I wasn’t around for the great music of the ’60s; I would have loved to have seen The Beatles in concert, for example, but I know I wouldn’t have been able to hear them over the screams (mine and others’). I’ll settle for solo Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr shows, instead.
But this week, I’ve envied my mother for her 62 years. She’s just old enough to snag a lifetime National Parks Service pass before the price increases on Aug. 28.
Until that date, Americans ages 62 and older can purchase a pass for only $10. It’s an incredible deal; anyone can purchase an annual pass, but it will run you eight times that senior rate. ($80 for a year at these wonders is still a deal, I’d argue. But I’m also a bargain hunter — just like my mother — so I’d much prefer the $10 rate.)
Come Aug. 28, the senior lifetime pass will increase to $80. A $20 senior annual pass will also be available. It’s the first price increase for the pass since 1994 and is the result of legislation passed in December. That requires the senior pass to be equal to the cost of the general annual pass.
Regardless of how much you pay, there’s a lot to be gained from a parks pass. The senior pass includes access to not only National Park Service sites (and there are a lot of those!). It’s also good for admission and standard amenities at sites managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. That’s more than 2,000 sites in total.
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