A PASS FOR ALL SEASONS
U.S. Federal Land and National Park Use Passes
From “sea to shining sea” in the United States, family vacation travelers in search of camping, fishing, boating, hunting, hiking, or just bird watching and spring flowers are bound to encounter the Federal Land management system which will require a fee or use permit. For a longer trip or year round return visits to a familiar spot may find an annual pass of benefit to both budget and convenience. The U.S. government which oversees the patchwork network of Federal lands for public use under a collection of agencies offers several use passes for visitors to the various National Parks, National Forests, National Recreation Areas, campgrounds, picnic grounds, trails, water management lakes, rivers, and game reserves.
Following are a list of the passes available. Many of these passes can be purchased at the entrance gate of larger federal use sites, national parks, and use areas, or by web or phone order.
Golden Eagle Passport Pass
Cost $65. Good for 1 year from purchase. This admits the pass holder and accompanying passengers in a private vehicle. Where a per person fee is charged it admits the pass owner, spouse, parents and children. The pass is available from the Forest Service (877) 465-2727 or the National Forests site or from the Bureau of Land Management (877) 851-8946
National Parks Pass
Entrance Pass to National Park Service (NPS) sites that charge entrance fees. For the General Public.
Cost $50. Good for 1 year from purchase. A single entrance to a National Park with a vehicle is now up to $20, so if planning on visiting more that twice a year, a pass would be a good itde.
This pass admits the pass holder
and any accompanying passengers in a private vehicle. Where a per person
fee is charged, the pass admits the pass owner, spouse, parents and
Golden Eagle Sticker
A sticker can be bought and
affixed to a National Park Service Parks Pass. The National Parks
Pass with the Golden Eagle
Cost $15. Good for 1 year from date of purchase of the National Parks Pass to which it is attached. Available from the Forest Service, call (877) 465-2727 or at www.orders.com/nfs/requestinfo.cfm or from the Bureau of Land Management or call (877) 851-8946.
Golden Age Passport
Cost $10 and good for life.
This pass provides the same benefits as Golden Eagle Passport with a 50% discount at camping, developed boat launches and swimming sites and for specialized interpretive services. Some concessionaires may honor it if its included in the terms of their operating permit.
This pass has to be purchased
IN PERSON at most BLM offices,
Golden Access Passport
Same as the Golden Age but for Citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. who are legally blind or permanently disabled.
It's Free and good for life. Aside from holder, spouse, and children, this pass also covers other people accompanying the pass holder, such as a parent or care assistant. This pass also has to be gotten IN PERSON with a proof of medically determined permanent disability or eligibility for receiving benefits under federal law.
Corps of Engineers Annual Day Use Pass
A pass for day use facilities at any Corps of Engineers site during the calendar year, for the General Public.
Cost $30. This is good for the calendar year in which it is purchased. It admits the pass owner and any accompanying passengers (up to a total of 8 people) in a private vehicle.
It covers fees charged for boat
ramps or swim beaches at Army Engineer Corps sites, but doesn't cover
camping fees or fees for special facilities ie. picnic shelters,
amphitheaters or athletic fields requiring a seperate fee.
Federal Duck Stamp
Mandatory federal permit for hunters 16 years and older to hunt waterfowl which also serves as an entrance pass to national wildlife refuges where entrance fees apply.
Costs $15 and good from July 1st through June 30th of the next year.
Can be purchased at post offices,
many national wildlife refuges, the sporting goods departments at Wal-Mart
or other sporting goods stores, or by calling the Federal Duck Stamp
Office at: (703) 358-2000. Stamps
All passes except for Golden
Age Passports and Golden
Golden Passports may not be valid for fees related to facility or equipment rental, cabins, lookouts, special conservation programs, managed off highway vehicle areas, reservation services, fees for hookups for water, electricity, sanitary dumpstations, or permits. © Bargain Travel West
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