National passes cover entrance fees found at federal recreation areas such as national parks and US Fish & Wildlife Service national wildlife refuges. They also cover the use of facilities and services at many day-use sites on US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands. There are several pass options to consider.
An annual pass honored at all National Park Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging entrance fees. Also honored at US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation sites charging standard amenity fees for developed day-use recreation sites (picnic sites, trailheads, visitor centers, and low development boat ramps).
Interagency Annual Passes are valid for entrance or standard amenity fees ONLY and NO other discounts. This pass sells for $80. (See exceptions for important information)
A lifetime pass available to citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are 62 years of age or older. In addition to the benefits provided by the Interagency Annual Pass, the Interagency Senior Pass holders will continue to receive a 50% fee discount at Forest Service-managed and some concessionaire-managed campgrounds, highly developed boat launches and swimming sites and for specialized interpretive services.
An Interagency Senior Pass must be obtained in person. They are not available by mail. You must show proof of age in order to get an Interagency Senior Pass. This might be a state driver's license showing your birth date, a birth certificate, or similar proof. This pass sells for a one-time $10 fee.
A lifetime pass available to citizens or permanent residents of the United States who have been medically determined to be blind or permanently disabled and as a result, are eligible to receive benefits under federal law. An Interagency Access Pass must be obtained in person. They are not available by mail. You must show proof of being medically determined to be blind or permanently disabled and therefore eligible for receiving benefits under federal law. This pass provides the same benefits and discounts as the Interagency Senior Pass. This is a free pass.
An annual pass honored at all National Park Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging entrance fees. Also honored at Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service and Bureau of Reclamation sites charging standard amenity fees for developed day-use recreation sites (picnic sites, trailheads, visitor centers, and low development boat ramps). Interagency Volunteer Passes are valid for entrance or standard amenity fees ONLY and NO other discounts. This pass is free to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who individually accrues 500 volunteer hours. See exceptions below for important information.
The Interagency Annual Pass and Interagency Volunteer Pass do NOT include concessionaire services, however, concessionaires may honor the Interagency Senior Pass and Interagency Access Pass according to the terms of their current permit.
Interagency Recreation Passes are NOT valid for fees related to facility or equipment rental (cabins, lookouts, day/overnight group sites), special conservation programs, managed off-highway vehicle areas charging an expanded or special recreation permit fee, transportation systems, reservation services, or permits of any kind.
Why are Recreation Fees Charged?
More and more people recreate in national forests and grasslands every year. Meeting the increasing needs of these visitors, delivering quality recreation, heritage and wilderness opportunities, and protecting natural resources has become challenging.
To help address this issue, President Bush signed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA) in December, 2004. The Act permits federal land management agencies to continue charging modest fees at campgrounds, rental cabins, high-impact recreation areas and at day-use sites that have certain facilities. 100% of the revenue generated by these fees is retained by the national forests and grasslands to help fund the operation, maintenance, and enhancement of recreation facilities, visitor services, and the protection, and rehabilitation of natural resources.
How Do I Decide?
To help you choose a pass, think about how often and where you go for your recreation activities. If you plan to recreate in many different spots across the nation, an Interagency Annual Pass may be your best value. You may also qualify for one of the Interagency Lifetime Passes (Interagency Senior Pass or Interagency Access Pass).
Interagency Passes are honored at Forest Service sites charging fees for use of many developed day-use recreation sites; which may include picnic sites, low developed boat ramps, and trailheads. Interagency Passes may also provide discounts for camping at campgrounds operated by the US Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and/or concessionaires.
Interagency Recreation Pass Frequently Asked Questions.