America the Beautiful Park Pass: Is it Worthwhile?

The National Park system in the United States is made up of areas of significant historical, geological or natural importance that are protected by the government. You’ve probably heard of the more popular sites such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park, but did you know there are actually 61 national parks throughout the US? They’re scattered throughout 29 states and 2 territories, so chances are you’re never too far from one of America’s treasures!

From hiking in Yosemite to exploring the lesser-known Olympic National Park in Washington, there are no shortage of adventures to be had in the US National Parks. However, entrance fees can add up quickly if you are planning to visit more than one park. 

Enter the America the Beautiful Park Pass

For just $80 a year, this annual pass offers free admission to 2,000 Federal natural, historical, and recreational sites across the United States, including all 61 national parks and 556 national wildlife refuges. 

So… Is it worth it? 

We certainly think so! 

Considering the national parks are some of the most beautiful and well-preserved spaces in America, they make for some epic travel destinations (and even more epic photos as you can see!). 

Many of the parks have entrance fees of up to $25. At just $80 for the annual pass, that means you only need to visit 4 national parks in a year to make it worth your while. There are 5 National Parks in the state of Utah alone that should be on everyone’s bucketlist! 

Whether you’re visiting the US from another country or planning an epic road trip across the country, you can make the most of your trip by hitting up as many national parks as you can fit into your itinerary. 

And the best part… you can have a completely different experience at each park depending on the time of year and the season you visit! So we recommend seeing as much of the US National Parks as possible with your America the Beautiful Park Pass. (This is not sponsored, I promise. We really just love national parks that much!)

Tip: Need help planning your epic road trip across the country? We’ve got you covered with everything from how to road trip on the cheap to tips on keeping your road trip eco-friendly

How much does an America the Beautiful Annual Park Pass Cost?

The annual pass costs $80 and is valid for a year from the date you purchase it. You can purchase a pass anytime online or in person at a Federal recreation site

The pass is available to everyone and up to 2 persons can “own” the pass by signing the back. You do not need to be related or married to share an annual pass, however they are non-transferable. Photo identification will be requested to verify pass ownership.

Tip: The America the Beautiful Park Pass is free for current US Military and Military dependents! In order to get your free pass, you must purchase in person at one of the Federal recreation sites by showing a Military ID or Common Access Card.

What does the America the Beautiful Annual Park Pass Cover?

The pass covers entrance to 2,000 federal recreational sites across the United States, including all 61 National Parks. For a list of parks covered by the America the Beautiful pass, check out the National Park Service official website

At per-vehicle fee areas, an annual pass will admit the pass owner(s) and all passengers in their non-commercial vehicle. 

At per-person fee areas, the pass owner and up to 3 adults, not to exceed 4 adults in total, will be admitted. After that each additional person will be charged the per-person fee or need to have a separate pass. (Children under 16 are always admitted free into National Parks.)

The annual pass does NOT cover fees incurred for amenities within the parks such as camping, boat launching, parking or special tours.

You might also like…

Do you like this article? Share it on Pinterest!

We want to hear from you!

Where are you headed with your America the Beautiful Park Pass this year? Have you ever gotten the pass before? Do you think it was worth it? Let us know in the comments below!