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8 Amazing Federal Parks And State Park Passes

8 Amazing Federal Parks And State Park Passes Mountains and trees of Denali National Park
Mountains and trees of Denali National Park

Federal Parks And State Park Passes – This article will begin centered on passes that we use in Pacific North West. I’m also focusing on lower-cost options for disabled veterans and others who might be disabled.

America the Beautiful National Parks Pass
8 Federal Parks And State Park Passes For Low-Cost Access

The America The Beautiful Pass

This pass is the one we have used the most. It gives us free access to every federal national park and monument with the Federal Park system. It also gives us discounted access to tent spots or areas for RVs.


PRODUCT DETAILS


COVID-19 PANDEMIC RESPONSE:
THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE IS INCREASING ACCESS AND SERVICE IN A PHASED APPROACH ON A PARK-BY-PARK BASIS. BEFORE VISITING A PARK, PLEASE CHECK THE PARK WEBSITE TO DETERMINE ITS OPERATING STATUS. THE INTERAGENCY PASS PROGRAM IS NOT CURRENTLY ABLE TO ISSUE REFUNDS OR EXTEND THE PASSES.

America the Beautiful National Parks Pass is your ticket to over 2000 recreation sites nationwide. Save time and money by getting your pass and help protect these national treasures for generations to come.

Questions? We recommend our Pass FAQs to learn more.

For a partial list of locations where you can use this pass, please click here.

The pass available on this website is just one of many options. If you are a US citizen or permanent resident age 62 or older, have a permanent disability, or are a member of the US Military, visit USGS Store to find out about discount passes you may qualify for.

About Your Annual Pass:

Honored nationwide at National Park Service, Forest Service, U.S. Fish, and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recreation sites charging day-use or entrance fees. Valid for 12 months from the month of purchase. Expires on the last day of the month punched. Includes two signature lines where two individuals may sign the pass. Admits pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee sites.

At per-person fee sites, admits the pass holders and up to three persons age 16 and older. Children 15 and younger are admitted free of charge. Photo identification may be required to verify ownership. Passes are NON-REFUNDABLE, NON-TRANSFERABLE, and CAN NOT BE REPLACED IF LOST OR STOLEN.

Physical pass must be present at the time of use. Confirmation email(s) or receipt(s) are not acceptable for entry.Fees vary widely across the thousands of Federal Recreation sites. To plan your trip and determine if this pass is the right one for you, please contact the offices of the federal recreation sites where you plan to visit.

Annual Northwest Forest Pass            (National Forests in WA and OR ONLY)
Annual Northwest Forest Pass

Annual Northwest Forest Pass (National Forests in WA and OR ONLY)

Are you a frequent visitor to U.S. Forest Service sites in Washington and Oregon? The Annual Northwest Forest Pass will save you time, money, and the need to pay at each fee site. Questions? Check out our Pass FAQs to learn more.

Note: Annual Northwest Forest Passes are mailed to customers. No printable or digital annual passes are available at this time. If you need your pass right away, we recommend purchasing the self-issuing, printable National Forest Recreation ePass.

About Your Annual Pass

Honored at all U.S. Forest Service-operated recreation sites in Washington and Oregon where a day-use fee is required. Allows the pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private vehicle to use the recreation facilities. Allows the pass holder to use recreation facilities at per-person sites. Other members of the party must pay the per-person fee. Interchangeable between vehicles in the same household.

One free decal may be issued per Annual Northwest Forest Pass for users who have an open-topped vehicle or motorcycle. Decals are available at Forest Service offices only. Passes are NON-REFUNDABLE, NON-TRANSFERABLE, and cannot be replaced if lost or stolen.


The Annual Northwest Forest Pass does not cover fees or permits for:

Sno-Parks (winter season)Group camping and organized activitiesDeveloped campgrounds or cabin rentalsSpecial activities (Backcountry, Wilderness, Climbing, or River travel*)Harvesting Christmas trees or forest products some concessionaire operated sites and activities

National Forest Recreation Day Pass (National Forests in WA and OR ONLY)

National Forest Recreation Day Pass   (National Forests in WA and OR ONLY)
National Forest Recreation Day Pass


PRODUCT DETAILS


COVID-19 PANDEMIC RESPONSE:
THE U.S. FOREST SERVICE IS INCREASING ACCESS AND SERVICE IN A PHASED APPROACH ON A FOREST BY FOREST BASIS. BEFORE VISITING A FOREST, PLEASE CHECK THE FOREST WEBSITE TO DETERMINE ITS OPERATING STATUS. THE PASS PROGRAM IS NOT CURRENTLY ABLE TO ISSUE REFUNDS OR EXTEND THE PASSES.

Planning a trip to a U.S. Forest Service site in Washington or Oregon? Purchase one or more day passes now for use when you need them. Please note that this version of the day pass is mailed. For the printable version, see the National Forest Recreation ePass.

Questions? See our Pass FAQs page.

Fees are waived at Forest Service-managed day-use sites on certain days of the year. To find out which days do not require a pass, please click here. Plan ahead by visiting the U.S. Forest Service website for more specific information and updates about your destination.

About Your Pass:

Honored at all Forest Service operated recreation sites in Washington and Oregon where a day-use fee is required. Allows the pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private vehicle to use the recreation facilities. Allows the pass holder to use recreation facilities at per-person sites. Other members of the party must pay the per-person fee.

Day Pass users will self-validate their Day Pass by clearly printing the month, day, and year of use in ink. Improper validation (incorrect or illegible date) by the holder may result in a warning notice or a violation notice. Any modifications to the pass (such as changing dates) will void the pass. Day Pass is good until midnight of the day validated.
The National Forest Recreation Day Pass does not cover fees or permits for:

Sno-Parks (winter season)Group camping and organized activitiesDeveloped campgrounds or cabin rentalsSpecial activities (Backcountry, Wilderness, Climbing, or River travel*)Harvesting Christmas trees or forest products some concessionaire operated sites and activities

National Forest Recreation ePass (National Forests in Washington and Oregon only)

National Forest Recreation ePass  (National Forests in Washington and Oregon only)
National Forest Recreation ePass


PRODUCT DETAILS


Need your National Forest Recreation Day Pass right away? Getting an ePass is easy. The National Forest Recreation ePass eliminates the need to pre-purchase a pass on the way to your destination. You can fill in your information and print it now, or print it later using an order confirmation link you will receive via e-mail. See our Pass FAQs for more information.

IMPORTANT: No refunds are available for e-Passes. Your National Forest Recreation ePass must be printed within 2 days of purchase, after which the link to the e-Pass expires. If you do not plan to print your ePass within 2 days from the purchase date, please wait to place your order.

Fees are waived at Forest Service-managed day-use sites on certain days of the year. To find out which days do not require a pass, please click here. Plan ahead by visiting the U.S. Forest Service website for more specific information and updates about your destination.

The National Forest Recreation ePass is honored at all Forest Service recreation day-use sites in Washington and Oregon where “Recreation Pass required” signs are posted.

The ePass:

Is a printable pass for immediate use. Covers pass holders and accompanying passengers at per-vehicle sites. Is valid until midnight of the date printed on the pass.Is valid only for the date and vehicle specified at purchase.Is currently not available for open-topped vehicles such as jeeps and motorcycles. Any modifications to the printed ePass will void the e-Pass. Any attempt to electronically change information on the ePass is strictly prohibited.Is non-refundable, non-transferable to another vehicle, and not replaceable if lost or stolen.
How to Display the ePass:

Place on vehicle dashboard so that it is visible and readable. Place multiple passes on the vehicle dashboard if your stay covers consecutive days.
The National Forest Recreation ePass does not cover fees or permits for:

Sno-Parks (winter season)Group camping and organized activitiesDeveloped campgrounds or cabin rentalsSpecial activities: (Backcountry, Climbing, Wilderness, or River travel*)Harvesting Christmas trees or forest productsRecreation on state lands Johnston Ridge Observatory

Oregon State Parks
Oregan State Park

Oregan State Park Disabled Veteran Pass

Special Access Pass for Veterans with Disabilities & Refunds for Active Duty Military On Leave

This pass gives us access to all Oregon State Parks. and daytime access is complimentary. Tent camping comes with 10 free nights per year, and full price on RV spots.

Eligibility:

We offer free camping and free parking at day-use fee parks to these groups:

  • U.S. veterans with any level of a service-connected disability
  • Active duty U.S. military on official leave

These benefits are handled in slightly different ways. Read on!

The Special Access Pass is for veterans with a service-connected disability. Survivors of deceased veterans, spouses, and/or other family members of veterans do not qualify for this pass.  Eligible U.S. military members on leave are reimbursed for their campsite and day-use costs. Both benefits are subject to some restrictions.

What it Covers

If you are eligible, this benefit gives you free parking at the 25 state parks that charge a day-use parking fee. It also covers your camping costs in RV sites, tent campsites & standard horse campsites. You may camp for free in a tent, RV, or standard horse campsite for 10 nights at a time at a single state park, or a total of 10 nights in a calendar month, regardless of the location. If you stay longer than 10 nights at a park, or in a calendar month, you will pay the standard rate for the extra days.

What it Doesn’t Cover

This benefit does not cover yurts, cabins, or other special park facilities, nor does it cover the $8 fee to make reservations or the $7 per night charge for a 2nd driven vehicle.

Getting a Pass

For U.S. veterans with a service-connected disability, here is the process:

  1. Obtain a letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs stating you have a service-connected disability.
  2. Scan or photograph your letter stating you have a service-connected disability and attach it to the online form (see next step).
  3. Apply via our online form


The pass is valid for 10 years.

Washington State Discover Park Pass

Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to state parks and recreation lands managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). One pass can be transferred between two vehicles. The fees are as follows (add transaction/dealer fees, $5 for the annual Discover Pass, and $1.50 for the one-day pass.):

  • Annual pass: $30
  • One-day pass: $10

EXEMPTIONS

Your purchase of the Discover Pass supports recreation on state lands. However, you do not need to purchase the pass under the following circumstances:

  • If you are camping or renting overnight accommodations, including vacation houses, environmental learning centers, yurts, and cabins, you will not need a Discover Pass for access to the state park where you are staying for the duration of your stay. If you visit other state parks in the area or other state recreation lands managed by WDFW or DNR, a Discover Pass will be required.
  • Disabled veterans and other Washington State Parks pass-holders registered through Washington State Parks do not need to purchase a Discover Pass for access to Washington state parks. A Permanent Disability Parking Permit, issued by the Washington State Department of Licensing, also entitles you to free day use. You will need to purchase the Discover Pass for access to lands managed by WDFW and DNR. To apply for a State Parks pass, complete and submit the appropriate pass application.
  • You will not need a Discover Pass to launch your boat from a state park boat launch if you have the annual Natural Investment Permit. You will need the Discover Pass for boat launches managed by DNR and WDFW.
  • Sno-Park permit holders do not need a Discover Pass to use a designated Sno-Park between Nov. 1 and March 31 for winter recreation activities. The Sno-Park permit exemption does not apply to non-winter recreation activities.

For more information and other exemptions, please visit the Discover Pass website.

LIFETIME DISABLED VETERAN PASS

Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission offers the Lifetime Disabled Veteran pass to Washington state residents who are veterans with 30% or greater service-connected disabilities.

Benefits of the pass include:  

  • Free entry to state parks.
  • Free boat launch
  • Free trailer dump
  • No reservation fees.
  • Free nightly camping or moorage.
Disabled Veterans Lifetime Pass
Washington State Discover Park Pass

The Disability pass does not take the place of a Discover Pass. It will not be accepted in lands managed by Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife or Department of Natural Resources.

HOW TO APPLY

Submit an application and proof of residency and disability.

Lifetime Disabled Veteran Pass Application

SENIOR CITIZEN LIMITED INCOME PASS

Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission offers the Senior Citizen Limited Income pass to Washington State residents who are 62 years of age or older. Limited income is defined as $40,000 or less in a calendar year, and is based on household gross income.

This pass is free to apply for and must be renewed every 5 years. 

Benefits of this pass include:Senior Limited Income Pass

  • Free entry to state parks.
  • Free watercraft launch.
  • Free trailer dump.
  • 50% discount on nightly camping or moorage fees.
  • 50% reduction in fee for the Senior Off-Season Pass

The Senior Limited Income Pass does not take the place of a Discover Pass. It will not be accepted in lands managed by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife or the Department of Natural Resources.

HOW TO APPLY

Submit an application and proof of residency, age, and income.

Senior Citizen Limited Income Pass application (Word Document or PDF).

idaho state parks passport logo
Idaho State Parks Passport

The Idaho State Parks Passport

The Idaho State Parks Passport is a $10 annual sticker for Idahoans that is available for purchase at the time you register your motorhome or passenger vehicle online, by mail-in renewal, or at any county DMV office.

The Passport is a good deal for you and great for Idaho, in that proceeds help keep our cherished outdoor public places accessible for years to come!

The Idaho State Parks Passport:

  • Is just $10 for Idahoans, per vehicle, per year!
  • Offers unlimited day-use access to every Idaho State Park
  • Covers boat launch fees within Idaho State Parks
  • Provides access to hundreds of miles of hiking, cycling, mountain biking, and Nordic trails

Remember when Buying that your Passport:

  • Will expire concurrently with your vehicle registration
  • Is assigned to specific vehicles
  • Is not transferable
  • Please note: The Passport gets you into the parks; camping, overnight use, extra vehicle and other fees associated with stays still apply.

Our out-of-state guests have savings options too! You can purchase an $80 Motor Vehicle Entry Fee (MVEF) Annual sticker, which waives the daily motor vehicle entrance fee – a savings of $7 per day ($14 a day at premium parks). MVEF Annual stickers can be purchased at any Idaho State Park and online.

MSPLogo
8 Amazing Federal Parks And State Park Passes 11

Montana State Park Passes

DAY-USE ENTRANCE FEES

Montana Residents

  • Montana residents who pay the $9 state parks fee with their annual vehicle registration have no daily entrance fees to state parks. For residents who don’t include this in their vehicle registration, non-resident day-use fees apply.

Nonresidents

  • Day use entrance fee with a vehicle: $8
  • Day use entrance fee as a walk-in, bicycle or bus passenger: $4
  • With a Nonresident Entrance Pass: Free

NONRESIDENT ENTRANCE PASS

Out-of-state residents can purchase a Nonresident Entrance Pass which allows free entrance and discounted camping fees. The 12-month pass costs $50 /vehicle and is valid for one year from the month of issue. You can purchase the pass through the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Online Licenses Service, or at any FWP office. 

7-Day Nonresident Entrance Pass, which costs $35, is an option for a shorter time period. 7-Day Passes are available at the parks. The pass is good for 7 consecutive days starting from the purchase date.

8 Federal Parks And State Park Passes For Low-Cost Access

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