We purchased an annual national parks pass (America the Beautiful – the National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass) at our first United States national park on our 2014 Road Trip. The annual pass costs $80 and provides access to more than 2,000 recreation areas managed by five Federal agencies for a year at no additional cost.
You can read more about the pass and purchase one here. We figured it the cost would cover itself and it supports a worthwhile cause.
Here’s the summary of when we used the America the Beautiful Pass on our 2014 Road Trip. Note that not all Recreation Areas have a fee (for example, Mammoth Caves National Park doesn’t charge an entrance fee but does charge for cave tours, which the Annual National Parks Pass doesn’t cover); the list below is only those areas we visited where there was a fee and where we used our Annual National Parks Pass.
|Fee (w/o the Annual National Parks Pass)
|Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
|Ape Cave National Volcanic Monument
|Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
|Cape Perpetua Scenic Area
|5 (this fee covered all three areas only because we visited them on the same day)
|Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint
|John Dellenbeck Dunes Trail
(Oregon National Recreation Area)
|Yosemite National Park
|Joshua Tree National Park
|Death Valley National Park
|Grand Canyon National Park
|Zion National Park
|Bryce Canyon National Park
|Arches National Park
So, had we not purchased the Annual National Parks Pass (America the Beautiful Pass) we would have spent $173 USD on fees at Federal Recreation Areas. We saved $93 because of this $80 purchase. Score!