An America the Beautiful Pass grants you access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. Each pass covers entrance fees at the following federal agencies:
- Bureau of Land Management
- Bureau of Reclamation
- Fish and Wildlife Service
- USDA Forest Service
- National Park Service
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
The 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. Senior passes are available for those 62 years of age and over.
But what about those of us that aren’t yet over 62? How do we get a better deal? Think baker’s dozen when you buy your annual America the Beautiful Pass.
While a casual reading of the website implies the pass is valid for one year from the date of issuance, a closer look reveals the Annual Pass is valid for 12 months from the month of purchase, expiring the last day of that month.
Translation: Buy your pass on the first day of the month and it is good until the end of the same month the following year or a total of 13 months.
My wife and I typically take an extended RV trip in the same month every year. By purchasing the pass at the beginning of the month when we set out, we can gain fee-free access to all of the federal land listed above the year we buy the pass and the same month the following year on our trip.
Additionally, if you have a 4th grader traveling with you, they are eligible for a free America the Beautiful pass as part of the “Every Kid in a Park” program. The pass is valid for the duration of their 4th grade school year through the following summer (September-August).
Click here for more information on pass types.
Enjoying America’s National Parks and other federal lands while saving a buck… just another great adventure in RVing!
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.
M Wilkie says
Just found out at Sleeping Bear that seniors can get and $20 yearly pass for four years which counts toward the $80 fee. It just stretches the payments out I guess.