is getting a America the Beautiful pass worth it?

Discussion in 'General Camping Discussion Forum' started by Norman Rance, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. Norman Rance

    Norman Rance Member

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    We are going to Arches, dinosaur nat park, Tetons, and Yellowstone and staying out 6 weeks do these cover all the entrance fees with the exception of campgrounds?
     
  2. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    The pass covers the entrance fees. Given the number of parks you plan to visit, you'll at least come out even. It also just makes it handy at the entrance station at times.
    Visit the pass section on nps.gov for details. (On my phone or I'd give the link.)
    I now have the "senior" pass, which often reduces camping fees. We'll still be buying the annual pass until DH is old enough for his own permanent one. Since we sometimes go in and out of parks separately, the second pass will be useful. The annual pass can have two signatures, the senior just one
     
  3. mrobuck

    mrobuck New Member

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    A 7 day pass to Yellowstone and Teton is $50 alone, daily to Arches is $25, plus $20 daily to Dinosaur so, I'd say you come out ahead by getting the annual pass. (especially if you decide to stop in at Canyon Lands too)

    We always get the Annual Pass when doing a big trip like that, even if it doesn't come out "ahead" for that trip. Why? Because once we have it, we're more likely to go visit other NPs in the full year we have access to parks paid for.

    Depending where you're based out of there will numerous parks to use the pass at. (especially in the Utah, Colorado area)
     
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  4. Norman Rance

    Norman Rance Member

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    we are from Albuquerque NM
     
  5. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Welcome from ABQ too. The pass also covers things such as entrance to Bosque del Apache NWR, last I knew parking in some USFS areas (such as at Sandia Crest).
    Quote from the NPS site: "A pass is your ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. Each pass covers entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges as well as standard amenity fees (day use fees) at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A pass covers entrance, standard amenity fees and day use fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per vehicle fee areas (or up to four adults at sites that charge per person). Children age 15 or under are admitted free."
    https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm
    My husband began buying passes before he moved to NM, so we continued. there have been a few gaps in the last 27 years, but usually just between lapse of one pass and the chance to buy another.
     
  6. mv520

    mv520 Active Member

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    At Rocky Mountain Beaver Meadows entrance last year (hope my memory is correct on which park it was) there was a totally separate line at the entrance station where those with the pass could drive through a dedicated lane and just swipe their pass magnetic strip. Never saw this in any other park, but hopefully that will spread to other parks, or at least the big ones with long lines. It was awesome to roll right past everyone else sitting in line to get in.
     
  7. JunkyBurrittos

    JunkyBurrittos Active Member

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    We bought this pass two years ago when we explored Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce and if was well worth it in savings for just those three. We starteded it up in June and then we were still able to use it in Acadia and Cape Cod National Seashore the following June and July. We only have Acadia out east where I am, but I realized after it expired that it also covered entrance into a ton of a historic sites beyond National Parks. So it sounds like it will pay for itself easily on your trip and then you'll have the added benefit for an entire year!
     
  8. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    I wish the America the Beautiful pass offered the discounts on camping fees like the Senior Pass.
    I've still got about three years to go before I can get the Senior Pass. I sometimes feel like a kid who can't wait to turn 16 so they can get a driver's license. [;)] [:)C]
     
  9. MileHigh

    MileHigh Active Member

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    Yes - Arches = $25, Dinosaur = $20, Yellowstone/Tetons = $50. Pass = $80. You will save $15 just by visiting those parks alone. A lot of other places the pass will allow you in as well...
     

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  10. crackerJack

    crackerJack Well-Known Member

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    Last summer we did; Badlands, Wind Cave, Mt Rushmore, Devils Tower, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Theadore Roosevelt. It was beneficial.
     
  11. Fless

    Fless Active Member

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    Be sure to read the fine print on campsite fees. A Senior Pass may get you discounted campsite fees at a dry site, but NO discount at full hookup sites. Mesa Verde is like that.
     
  12. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if you are aware; the senior pass is increasing from $10 to $80 sometime this year.
     
  13. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    I've heard rumors to that effect. If it goes up, there's not much I can do about it, and IMO it's still a pretty good deal.
     
  14. Norman Rance

    Norman Rance Member

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    Awsome thank you guys I got it. should arrive in 7 to ten days.
     
  15. MsMac

    MsMac Well-Known Member

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    My partner insisted on driving to the local ranger station on his 62nd birthday to get his. Of course, we could have waited until we actually needed it (2 months later), but where's the fun in that? LOL
     
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  16. soft 17

    soft 17 Active Member

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    Awesome info! Thanks!
     
  17. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    I bought my senior pass a couple of days after I was eligible last fall. Even when it goes up to $80, supposedly sometime later this year, it will be worth it. The campsite discount seems to vary, not just on hookups or not. On one of our upcoming reserved dry site seems not to be discount at all. For my site at the Colorado Rally, which is USFS, the base site fee was discounted 50%, then the power fee was added to that.
    This is a quote from the USGS online store, copied today, which is one of the online sources for passes: Due to an increase in Pass Sales, please allow one month for the processing of a Senior or Access pass order. We apologize for any inconvenience.

    Please note that we do not expect changes to the Senior pass price or program within the next few months. Further information on changes to the Senior pass price and program will be coming soon.
     
  18. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    I am a volunteer at our National Park. I asked a ranger and was told the price will go up at the beginning of the next fiscal year at the latest. I think he said the fiscal year starts August first.

    My 62nd birthday is this year in May.
     
  19. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    Federal fiscal years, typically begin on Oct. 1.

    I'm still SOL. :(
     

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