America The Beautiful Military Lifetime Pass – Are you a US military veteran planning to visit a National Park this summer? Today I wanted to provide detailed instructions on how you, or any member of the Gold Star Family, can get a free pass so you never have to pay for admission to a National Park in the United States again!
While camping, tours and special recreation permits are not free, the Lifetime Pass will cover the pass holder and occupants of a single private (non-commercial) vehicle, or the pass holder and three persons ( 16 years and over) free entry to national parks and national wildlife refuges.
America The Beautiful Military Lifetime Pass
It also qualifies for free standard amenity fees (day-use fees) on national forests and grasslands and on lands managed by the National Park Service, State Fish and Wildlife Service United States, the United States Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation and the United States Army Corps. of Engineers.
Everything You Need To Know About The America The Beautiful Pass
For the purposes of this program, a veteran is defined as “an individual who has served in the Armed Forces of the United States, including the National Guard and Reserves, and is able to present one of the following forms of identification to get the Interagency Military Life Pass.” when entering a national park:
Gold Star Families are described by the USGS website as “next of kin of a member of the United States Armed Forces who lost their life in a qualifying situation, such as war, an international terrorist attack , or a military operation outside the United States while serving with the United States Armed Forces. Eligibility requirements are in section 3.2 of Department of Defense Instruction 1348.36.”
Before visiting a National Park site, “Gold Star Family members must download and print a voucher to present to park staff, exchange for an Interagency Military Life Pass, or place on the dashboard of the vehicle in unmanned sites”.
The easiest way to get your Lifetime Pass is to go online here and pay the $10 document processing and handling fee, so you don’t have to visit a National Park location to get the pass In my opinion, it’s worth the $10 not to deal on site, but again, the pass is totally free and if you’re interested in finding a spot in person to avoid the $10 online fee, click here.
To All The Veterans Here
I’m not sure if the in-person option also gives you a fancy car sticker for your pass, but in my experience with the online option, it came with the tag holder to remove your pass .
For Active Duty Military and your dependents, there is also a free Annual Military Pass that provides the same services as the Lifetime Pass, but only needs to be renewed each year. For details on the Annual Military Interagency Walk Through America the Beautiful – Federal National Parks and Recreation Lands Program (Interagency), visit the USGS Online.
I hope you can find the time to visit a National Park this summer, these steps are a great reason to return to nature and your roots! If you’re looking for something to do during your visit, consider brushing up on your Land Nav skills with our ITS Land Navigation Starter Pack! passes to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites to Veterans and Gold Star Families.
These sites are located on more than 400 million acres of public lands and include 2,000 recreation sites. These sites include National Parks, wildlife refuges and forests, including those close to home in the North, like Lassen National Forest!
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Events For November 2022
We have a sacred obligation to America’s veterans. This new lifetime achievement is a small demonstration of our nation’s gratitude and support for those who have selflessly served in the United States Armed Forces,” said Secretary Deb Haaland, whose father served during the Vietnam War.” I am proud that the Department of the Interior can provide veterans and Gold Star Families opportunities for recreation, education and entertainment from our country’s precious lands.
Editor’s Note: This article by Amy Bushatz originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.
All US veterans and Gold Star family members will be able to get a free lifetime admission pass to federal parks and recreation sites nationwide starting November 11.
Does A Us National Parks Pass Save You Money?
The pass, an expansion of the free annual pass for currently serving troops and their families, grants free access to approximately 2,000 parks and lands administered by the National Park Service; The United States Fish and Wildlife Service; The United States Forest Service; Bureau of Land Management; Bureau of Reclamation; and the U.S.ArmyCorps of Engineers, according to an announcement on the park service’s website. It also gives discounted amenity rates at some locations.
While not all parks or visitor areas require an entrance fee, many do. For example, Yosemite National Park in California charges an entrance fee of $35 per vehicle, while Craters of the Moon National Monument charges $20. Other places charge to enter the museum or treatment areas in the visitor center. For example, the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center in the Chugach National Forest, Alaska, charges $5 per adult to enter a movie and exhibits.
Those fees are waived for holders of the new lifetime pass, as well as those with a free active America the Beautiful military pass or other passes sold or awarded by agencies. The new pass covers the holder and all accompanying passengers in a private vehicle at sites that pay per car, or the pass owner and up to three adults aged 16 and over at sites that pay per person.
The new pass-for-life program does not exclude veterans with so-called “bad paper” discharges. To get the pass, veterans must present one of the following:
Perks Of A National Parks Pass
To receive a pass visit a national park store or parks and land agency or a personal fare kiosk, or order via the U.S. Geological Survey Warehouse. Passes ordered online carry a $10 processing and shipping fee. Passes received in person are free.
Gold Star family members can receive the pass by submitting a self-verification form certifying that they are the next of kin of a military member killed while serving overseas. The form includes a signature block and confirmation that the user is “an eligible relative (NOK) of a member of the United States Armed Forces who lost their life in a qualifying situation.”
No other identification or proof is required for Gold Star family members who wish to obtain a lifetime pass.
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