Early Retirement Benefits: Senior National Park Pass
When one thinks of early retirement benefits, the thoughts are usually concerned with Social Security, pensions, IRA’s and the like. There is a huge perk to being age 62 that many people are not aware of and that is the senior national park pass.
I’m going to be perfectly honest with you. I think our national parks are the best bang for your buck at full price. Whether you are charged by person or by car, a day at a national park is going to cost about one tenth of a day at Disneyland. Maybe even less.
The national parks senior pass only makes the visit that much better. We toured the four corners area the week my husband turned age 62. The first day of our trip, we went to Sunset Crater Lake and Wupatki National Monument. The lady at the ticket booth said she couldn’t give us the discount for seniors, even though we were only two days shy of my husbands birthday. With that said, we were only charged $15.00 for the four us to visit the two parks. Not a bad price.
We actually went to Mesa Verde the day before his birthday and had to pay full price. Mesa Verde charges by the car, which was $10.00. Still not a bad price. There is an additional charge of $3.00 per person per tour. We elected to go on two tours, which cost $24.00. We spent a full day at the park for $34.00. Try doing that at an amusement park with two adults and two children.
What is the Senior National Park Pass? The pass is granted to any US citizen or permanent resident age 62 or over. The cost is $10 for lifetime free admittance to any Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, National Park or Monument, National Wildlife Refuge or Bureau of Reclamation recreation area. In additio to the bearer of the Senior Pass, 3 additional adults are admitted for free. The pass also allows for 50% discount for additional fees, such as camping, boat launching, etc.
On our trip, I was talking to a lady who said she didn’t think Americans appreciate the beauty. I disagree. Many people choose not to travel, but I think most people appreciate the diversity and splendor of this great land. Acquiring a senior national park pass is a great incentive to get out and experience the beauty of this country first hand.