Monday, April 17, 2017

Where to Go with Your National Parks Senior Pass (Before its too late!)

So you’ve read the articles on the Santa Fe Travelers blog cautioning you to get your National Park Senior Pass before its too late! You plunked down your $10 and have your shiny new pass with the photo of the blooming cacti on it. But now what? You’ve looked at the map and you don’t even have a National Park in your state. Oh oh!

I have a friend who doesn’t travel far, usually, and she got her pass and posed this exact question. She lives in the Portland, Oregon area and thought she might have to travel to Mt. Rainier National Park or Crater Lake to use her pass. That’s far for her.

National Park Senior Passes are for More Than National Parks
So after a little research I found that she could use her pass to gain entry at much closer, yet very exciting places to go:

In Vancouver, Washington is Fort Vancouver. Located on the north bank of the Columbia River, in sight of snowy mountain peaks and a vibrant urban landscape, this park has a rich cultural past. From a frontier fur trading post, to a powerful military legacy, the magic of flight, and the origin of the American Pacific Northwest, history is shared at four unique sites. Discover stories of transition, settlement, conflict, and community.

The entrance fee to Fort Vancouver is usually $5.00 but with a Senior Pass, its free!

And then on the coast, there’s the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. The park brochure entices you to “discover the rich heritage of the native people. Unfold the dramatic stories of America's most famous explorers. The park encompasses sites along the Columbia River and the Pacific Coast. Follow in the footsteps of the explorers and have an adventure in history.”

To enter these sites is usually $5.00 but with the Senior Pass, it’s free!

So the Senior Pass is a great deal. It can save you money on entrance to national sites and national historical parks and National Recreation areas. The lifetime national parks Senior Pass also gives seniors a 50 percent discount on federal use fees charged for camping, swimming, boat launching, parking, and tours.

When is it Too Late to Purchase a National Park Senior Pass?
So when will “it be too late?” According to the Santa Fe Travelers, “If you want to take advantage of the $10 rate, buy your lifetime National Park Senior Pass now. When is the price going up? According to the National Park Service no date has yet been set, but it will be sometime after October.” Currently, US citizens or permanent residents are eligible to buy a pass on their 62nd birthday.

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