Hi there!

 

As of summer 2021, in total, there are 63 national parks in the United States.

 

annual national park pass. What does America the Beautiful national park pass cover. Is america the beautiful pass worth it. usa national parks travel blog
👆 One of the most popular national parks in the US: Zion National Park.

 

In addition to the 63 national parks, there are many more national seashores, national lakeshores, national monuments, national historical parks, national memorials, and more nationally designated sites also operated by the National Park Service.

 

America the Beautiful pass entry fee to national parks. Is the cost of national park pass worth it. us national parks travel blog

 

Many of these national park sites have entry fees.

 

America the Beautiful pass entry fee to national parks. Is the cost of national park pass worth it. us national parks travel blog

 

And, there is such thing as a national park pass that you can use if you want to plan national park road trips to visit many national parks!

This is an annual national park pass that is called the America the Beautiful pass. You can use this America the Beautiful pass for the official “national parks,” as well as many more “national” sites across the country.

 

How much is cost of America the Beautiful national park pass. Is america the beautiful pass worth it. usa national parks travel blog

 

So the America the Beautiful pass covers entry into all 63 national parks in the US, and then some!

 

 

The America the Beautiful pass is officially an annual pass for “national parks and federal recreational lands.”

According to the National Park Service:

The America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series includes different options of interagency passes that provide access to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas across the United States.

Participating agencies include the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, and US Army Corps of Engineers.

 

 

 

So…

Is the America the Beautiful national park pass worth it for YOU?!

How much is cost of America the Beautiful national park pass. Is america the beautiful pass worth it. usa national parks travel blog

 

Well… it depends!! 😜

Lame…

But whether or not the cost of the annual national park pass (aka the America the Beautiful pass) is worth it for you will depend entirely on how many national parks you plan on visiting in one year, and WHICH national parks you will be visiting.

That said, if you want the quick answer…

If you are thinking about visiting among the most popular national parks in the US, then GENERALLY SPEAKING, you can likely expect that the America the Beautiful national park pass will be worth it if you will be visiting 3 or more official national parks in one year.

THAT said… that may not ALWAYS be the case! Some national parks are lower priced than others. There are even FREE national parks!

And so, you will want to check the entry fees of the individual national parks that you will be visiting so you can know if it will specifically be worth it for YOU! And with that said, you will find a list below of national park entry fees!

 

 

How much does it cost to buy an America the beautiful national park pass?

As of summer 2021, the cost of the America the beautiful national park pass is $80. This is an annual national park pass that will last for one year from the time you buy the pass. If you’re traveling together in one personal car, the one pass will cover everyone.

 

According to the National Park Service:

A pass is your ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites.

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.

 

There are also free or discounted annual national park passes available to 4th graders, seniors, and military. If this applies to you, see the National Park Service website for more.

Also note, the national park pass generally only covers entry into the park. Anything else would be additional. For example, there is no discount on national park camping fees from having the regular annual national park pass.

Otherwise, once you have entry to the national park, the vast majority of national parks have lots of FREE things to do! This includes scenic drives, quick stops for scenic overlooks, and hiking trails with amazing views. This means that included in your America the Beautiful pass is tons of free outdoor activities… and a lifetime of memories! 😄

Many national parks also have free guided tours provided by the national park rangers, and there are sometimes other educational activities provided too. (There are a few national parks that offer free guided snowshoe hikes for beginners in the winter for example!)

So be sure to search for ranger guided activities before you go so you know if there’s something offered at the national park that you’ll be visiting to make your national park trip even more worth it!

This is also a good reason to always make the national park visitor center your first stop when visiting any national park! You can find out about any ranger activities that are offered, and you can also find out about the best way to make use of your short time in the park! These are more FREE activities that can be included with entry into a national park! (No matter how you enter the national park, with or without an annual pass.)

 

 

Where to buy the America the Beautiful pass

Where to buy America the Beautiful national park pass. Is the cost of national park pass worth it. us national parks travel blog

 

You should be able to buy an America the Beautiful pass at any national park that you can use the pass at, which basically means that you can buy the national park pass at any national park in which there is an entry fee.

 

America the Beautiful pass entry fee to national parks. Is the cost of national park pass worth it. us national parks travel blog

 

But here is the official list of the nationally designated sites that you can buy your national park pass at in-person. (Also here is the official list as a pdf.) 

When you arrive at a national park and see the list of entry fees, the America the Beautiful pass will be listed as the interagency annual pass.

 

Where to buy America the Beautiful national park pass. Cost of annual national park pass worth it. us national parks travel blog

Where to buy America the Beautiful national park pass. Cost of annual national park pass worth it. us national parks travel blog

 

It’s also possible to buy the pass in advance and have it mailed to you. But I think the most convenient is to just buy it at the first national park you visit!

 

Buy your national park pass from USGS

But in case you do want to buy it online, the National Park Service website refers to the USGS store to buy your pass through USGS (US Geological Survey) which is a part of the US Department of Interior.

Keep in mind that when you do buy it ahead of time, there are some reports that the one year starts from your purchase date (or more specifically purchase month), not from the date of the entry into your first national park.

 

Buy your national park pass from REI

That said, there are reports from outdoor enthusiasts and regular national park visitors that buying the national park pass from REI allows you to receive your national park pass a lot quicker in the mail. It’s the REI reviews that mention some people’s passes already having been activated upon receiving it in the mail, and some people’s passes have not yet been activated, which means they can activate it when they arrive at their first national park.

 

 

So then…

How much does it cost to visit a national park?

America the Beautiful pass entry fee to national parks. Is the cost of national park pass worth it. us national parks travel blog

 

The short answer is the lame answer that the cost to visit a national park depends on which national park you’re visiting. 😜

But, as a starting point, many of the popular national parks cost around $30 to $35. But again, this very much depends on which national parks you will be visiting.

Below you will find a list of the national park entry fees that were listed on the official National Park Service (NPS) website as of July 2021.

You can expect that these fees will remain the same through the end of 2021 at least.

They might be the same for 2022, but to be sure, it’s best to check the NPS website of the specific national park you will be going to in order to confirm the current cost when it gets closer to the time that you’ll be going.

I’ve also included the links to the official national park fees page for convenience, so make the easy click over to check!

If you show up to a national park without a national park pass and instead pay the standard individual national park entry fee, that fee will usually cover multiple days. This is usually a 7-day pass or a 3-day pass. So in these cases, generally there is no discounted 1-day pass. This is also noted below.

Also, the costs below are for standard personal vehicle entry. This means that the national park entry fee covers the cost per vehicle to enter the park. Most national parks have a slightly lower fee if you will be entering by motorcycle, by bicycle, or by foot. (You can click over to the NPS fee page to check the exact fee.)

If you live near a national park, or you have plans to visit a single national park many times in one year, or you just want to support your favorite national parks even more, then most national parks also have an individual annual national park pass. That is also noted below. If you buy an individual annual national park pass, you will get a card in your wallet to show your support for specific national parks! 😄

 

National park pass worth it. Cost of individual national park pass for state. us national parks travel blog
I had an America the Beautiful pass and Hawaii national parks pass! 😄

 

 

And now…

Here is a list of national parks with the 2021 entry fee of each park!

America the Beautiful pass entry fee to national parks. Is the cost of national park pass worth it. us national parks travel blog

 

The list is in alphabetical order by state and only includes the 63 official national parks.

 

 

The cost to visit an Alaska national park is $15 or FREE.

 

Cost of Alaska national park pass

 

 

The cost to visit an Arizona national park is $25 or $35.

 

Cost of Arizona national park pass

 

 

See more about visiting an Arizona national park:

 

 

The cost to visit the Arkansas national park is FREE.

 

 

The cost to visit a California national park is mostly $30 or $35.

 

Cost of California national park pass

 

 

The cost to visit a Colorado national park is $25 to $35.

 

Cost of Colorado national park pass

 

 

The cost to visit the most popular Florida national park is $30.

 

Cost of Florida national park pass

 

 

The cost to visit a Hawaii national park is $30.

 

Cost of Hawaii national park pass

There is a Hawaii national park pass that is called the Hawaii tri-park pass. This Hawaii national park pass will cover you for entry into the 3 national park sites in Hawaii that have an entry fee: Haleakala National Park, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park. This Hawaii national park pass costs $55 for 1 year.

 

 

See more about visiting a Hawaii national park:

 

 

The cost to visit the Indiana national park is FREE.

  • Indiana Dunes: FREE

Indiana Dunes National Park is one of the newest national parks, becoming an official “national park” in 2019. Previously, it was a national lakeshore with the name Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

 

 

The cost to visit the Kentucky national park is FREE.

  • Mammoth Cave: FREE

Entry to the grounds of Mammoth Cave National Park is free. But the main purpose in visiting the Kentucky national park is to see the underground cave, and for that there is a fee. This will not be covered by your national park pass. There are many different cave tours, with tours starting at $8 per adult and $6 per child. 

 

 

The cost to visit the Maine national park is $30.

 

Cost of Maine national park pass

 

 

The cost to visit the Michigan national park is $7 per person, plus the transportation to get there.

Another required cost to visit the Michigan national park includes the ferry or seaplane you need to take to get there.

 

Cost of Michigan national park pass

 

 

See more about visiting a Michigan national lakeshore park:

 

 

The cost to visit the Minnesota national park is FREE.

 

 

The cost to visit the Missouri national park is $3.

There are also popular activities for an added fee that won’t be included in your national park pass. Basically you will get a $3 discount on these activities if you have a national park pass.

 

 

The cost to visit the main Montana national park is $35 in the summer.

  • Glacier: $35 for 7 day pass, except in winter (November 1 to April 30) when the winter 7 day pass is $25.

A small part of Yellowstone National Park is in Montana and Idaho, but most of the national park is in Wyoming.

 

Cost of Montana national park pass

 

 

The cost to visit the Nevada national park is FREE.

 

 

The cost to visit a New Mexico national park is at least $15.

White Sands National Park is one of the newest national parks, becoming an official “national park” in 2019. Previously, it was a national monument with the name White Sands National Monument.

 

Cost of New Mexico national park pass

 

 

The cost to visit the North Carolina national park is FREE.

  • Great Smoky Mountains: FREE

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is in North Carolina and Tennessee.

 

See more about visiting the North Carolina national park:

 

 

The cost to visit the North Dakota national park is $30.

 

Cost of North Dakota national park pass

 

 

The cost to visit the Ohio national park is FREE.

  • Cuyahoga Valley: FREE

 

 

The cost to visit the Oregon national park is $30 in the summer.

  • Crater Lake: $30 for 7 day pass, except in winter (November 1 to May 21) when the winter 7 day pass is $20.

 

Cost of Oregon national park pass

  • Crater Lake National Park annual pass: $55 for 1 year, and it also includes entry to Lava Beds National Monument

 

 

The cost to visit the South Carolina national park is FREE.

 

 

The cost to visit a South Dakota national park is $30 or FREE.

 

Cost of South Dakota national park pass

 

 

The cost to visit the Tennessee national park is FREE.

  • Great Smoky Mountains: FREE

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is in Tennessee and North Carolina.

 

See more about visiting the North Carolina national park:

 

 

The cost to visit a Texas national park starts at $10.

 

Cost of Texas national park pass

 

 

The cost to visit a Utah national park is $20 to $35.

 

Cost of Utah national park pass

  • The Southeast Utah national parks pass is $55 for 1 year. This Utah national park pass will cover you for entry into Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Natural Bridges National Monument.
  • Bryce Canyon National Park annual pass: $40 for 1 year
  • Zion National Park annual pass: $70 for 1 year

 

 

See more about visiting Utah national parks:

 

 

The cost to visit the Virginia national park is $30.

 

Cost of Virginia national park pass

 

 

The cost to visit a Washington national park is $30 or FREE.

 

Cost of Washington national park pass

 

 

The cost to visit the West Virginia national park is FREE.

  • New River Gorge: FREE

New River Gorge National Park is the newest national park, becoming an official “national park” in late 2020. Previously, it was a national river with the name New River Gorge National River.

 

 

The cost to visit a Wyoming national park is $35.

The vast majority of Yellowstone National Park is Wyoming, but a small part is also located in Montana and Idaho.

 

Cost of Wyoming national park pass

 

 

The cost to visit national parks in U.S. territories is FREE.

 

 

And that’s how much it costs to visit an official national park in the United States!

There are many more national park managed sites throughout the U.S. that don’t have the official “national park” designation, but are still different types of national parks. Some of these types of national parks have entry fees, and some of them are free. If you have any specific national park sites in mind, be sure to check out the entry fee before you go so there are no surprises!

 

Now…

How about planning a Hawaii national parks trip?! You can make it a 10 day trip to Hawaii and also make it a Hawaii national park trip!

 

 

PLUS, further explore the most popular national parks.

Top 10 most visited national parks in the United States in 2020

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee TN and North Carolina NC
  • Yellowstone National Park, Montana MT and Wyoming WY and Idaho ID
  • Zion National Park, Utah UT
  • Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado CO
  • Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming WY
  • Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona AZ
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio OH
  • Acadia National Park, Maine ME
  • Olympic National Park, Washington WA
  • Joshua Tree National Park, California CA

Source

 

Top 10 most visited national parks in the United States in 2019

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee TN and North Carolina NC
  • Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona AZ
  • Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado CO
  • Zion National Park, Utah UT
  • Yosemite National Park, California CA
  • Yellowstone National Park, Montana MT and Wyoming WY and Idaho ID
  • Acadia National Park, Maine ME
  • Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming WY
  • Olympic National Park, Washington WA
  • Glacier National Park, Montana MT

Source

 

Find a national park site near you!

See this interactive map and click on your state!

 

HAPPY ENTRY TO MANY NATIONAL PARKS IN THE U.S.!

 

How much is cost of America the Beautiful national park pass. Is america the beautiful pass worth it. usa national parks travel blog

 

 

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