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Recreation Fees and Passes


If you’re ready to recreate on your national forests and grasslands we can help you determine whether the activity you want to do requires a recreation fee and what types of passes are available.

Where Are You Going?

First, determine whether or not the site you plan to visit requires a fee. You can navigate to the site you plan to visit using the interactive visitor map. The map will help you determine where you want to go and will lead to you the Forest website, which will tell you whether or not the site has a fee.  If you are uncertain, you should contact the national forest you plan to visit for more information. 

Which Pass Do I Need? 

American the Beautiful; The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, Annual Pass To make the best choice on which pass to purchase, you need to know a bit about  your recreation plans for the next year. Your best value may be a single-day pass. Or if you’re a frequent visitor to one or more sites, a multi-day pass or annual pass that covers a forest or region may be the best buy. Forest Service regions offer more ‘localized’ passes and you can find information about those on the respective forest and grassland  websites. 

An Interagency Annual Pass may be your best value if you plan to visit  many different federal lands across the nation that include lands managed by other federal agencies. You may also qualify for the Interagency Senior passes or Interagency Access Pass. Below is a list of all the available Interagency Passes.

The Every Kid in a Park Pass gives fourth graders free access to 2,000-plus federal land and water sites. More detailed information about the pass is available on the kid-friendly Every Kid site

Interagency Annual Pass

American the Beautiful; The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, Annual Pass

Cost: 

$80 Annually

Who Qualifies:

Anyone can purchace an Interagency Annual Pass.

Benefits:

  • Honored nationwide at all Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging entrance or standard amenity fees
  • Valid for 12 months from the month of purchase. Expires the last day of the month punched. 
  • Has two signature lines and any two individuals may sign the pass. Both are considered pass holders.
  • Admits pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle.
  • At per-person fee sites, admits pass holder and up to 3 persons. Persons 15 and younger are admitted free of charge.
  • Frequent visitors of multiple federal agency lands may save money by buying an Interagency Annual Pass.

Validation:

The date is validated by the seller at the time of purchase, unless it is being purchased for another as a gift. The pass is not valid for use until at least one person signs the pass.

Display:

At staffed sites, show your pass to the booth attendant. 

At unstaffed sites, use hangtag to display pass from rear-view mirror. Hangtags are available wherever you purchase a pass.

At per-person sites, present pass upon request.

Other Important Details:

Nontransferable.

Once signed, the pass may not be given to or used by anyone whose name is not on the pass.

Concessionaires may or may not honor his pass, according to the terms of their current permit.

Decals may be issued free for open topped vehicles at unstaffed sites   Decals are only valid when the owner has an accompanying valid pass.

Does not cover expanded amenity fees or special recreation permits.

How to Obtain a Pass and Hangtag:

Online at https://store.usgs.gov or at most national forest or grassland offices.

Every Kid Outdoors: 4th Graders

A picture of the America the Beautiful 4th Grade Pass that has a small girl holding a magnifying glass looking at plants.

Cost:

Free

Who Qualifies:

4th graders for the 2021-2022 School Year. To get this benefit, 4th Graders must go to the Every Kid Outdoors website at everykidoutdoors.gov click on the “Get Your Pass” icon at the top of the screen to get your free voucher. Complete the request, print the 4th grade voucher, and present the voucher to a ranger before entering a site or simply leave it face up on the dashboard at unstaffed sites.

The 4th grade voucher currently covers entrance fees and standard amenity/day use fees for lands and waters managed by the Department of the Interior, USDA Forest Service and US Army Corps of Engineers. It does not cover expanded amenity fees like camping, tours, special recreation permits etc., or organized groups or concession-operated facilities or activities. 

Benefits:

  • Available to U.S. 4th graders (including home-schooled and free-choice learners 10 years of age) who present a valid Every Kid Outdoors paper pass.
  • Valid for the duration of the school year through the following summer (August 31 2022).
  • Honored nationwide at Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging entrance or standard amenity fees.
  • Admits pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle.
  • At per-person fee sites, admits pass holder and up to 3 people who are 16 and older (for a maximum of four people).  Anyone 15 and younger is free of charge.

Learn More:

Educators can also be involved! Learn more at Every Kid Outdoors.

Interagency Military Pass

American the Beautiful; The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, Military Pass

Cost:

Free

Who Qualifies:

Active military personnel and their dependents.

Benefits:

  • Honored nationwide at all Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging entrance or standard amenity fees
  • Valid for 12 months from the month of issue. Expires the last day of the month punched. 
  • Has two signature lines and can be signed by another active military member or dependent at any time. Both are considered pass holders. 
  • Admits pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle. 
  • At per-person fee sites, admits pass holder and up to 3 people. Persons 15 and younger are admitted free of charge.

Validation:

The date is validated when you purchase the pass. The pass is not valid for use until at least one person signs the pass.

Display:

At staffed sites, show your pass to the booth attendant. 

At unstaffed sites, use a hangtag to display pass from rear-view mirror. Hangtags are available wherever you purchase a pass.

At per-person sites, present pass upon request.

Eligibility Requirements:

1. If you are active duty military, you must provide your Department of Defense Common Access Card - Geneva Conventions Identification Card.

2. If you are the dependent of an active duty military member, you must provide a Department of Defense Uniformed Services Identification Card - DD Form 1173.

Other Important Details:

Nontransferable. Once signed, the pass may not be given to or used by anyone whose name is not on the pass.

Belongs to the signer(s) only and s/he must be present for the pass to be used. Photo identification may be requested to verify pass ownership.

Concessionaires may or may not honor the Interagency Annual Military Pass, according to the terms of their current permit.

Decals may be issued free for open topped vehicles at unstaffed sites   Decals are only valid when the owner has an accompanying valid pass.

Does not cover expanded amenity fees or special recreation permits.

How to Obtain a Pass and Hangtag:

Available at most national forest or grassland offices.

Free Access to Veterans and Gold Star Family Members

Beginning on November 11, 2020, all eligible veterans and Gold Star Family members will have free access to all national forest and grasslands. The free benefit will take effect on Veterans Day, and will continue indefinitely, providing veterans and Gold Star Families with fee-free access to Forest Service operated recreation sites. The fee waiver will cover standard amenities such as trailheads, visitor centers, picnic sites and other day use recreation sites.  The fee waiver does not cover expanded amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation, special recreation permits or special tours.

Veteran Eligibility:

For purposes of this fee waiver, a veteran is identified as an individual who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves, and is able to present one of the following forms of identification for this benefit: 

  • Department of Defense Identification Card (CAC Card)
  • Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC)
  • Veteran ID Card
  • Veterans designation on a state-issued U.S. driver’s license or identification card 

Gold Star Families:

Per Department of Defense, Gold Star Families are next of kin of a member of the United States Armed Forces who lost his or her life in a “qualifying situation,” such as a war, an international terrorist attack, or a military operation outside of the United States while serving with the United States Armed Forces.

Before visiting a Forest Service operated site, Gold Star family members can download and print a voucher to show the ranger or place on the vehicle dashboard at unstaffed sites.  By downloading and signing the voucher, Gold Star Family members are self-certifying that they meet the required criteria as identified in sections 3.2 and 3.3 of Department of Defense Instruction 1348.36. Vouchers may be certified and downloaded at the National Park Service Website.

The fee waiver for Veterans and Gold Star Families covers entrance fees and standard amenity/day use fees for lands and waters managed by the Department of the Interior, USDA Forest Service and US Army Corps of Engineers. It does not cover expanded amenity fees like camping, tours, special recreation permits etc., or organized groups or concession-operated facilities or activities.

Interagency Senior Pass

American the Beautiful; The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, Senior Pass

Cost:

Two Pass Options:

  • 1. Annual Senior Pass - $20
  • 2. Lifetime Senior Pass - $80

Who Qualifies:

  • Must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • Must be 62 years of age or older.
  • Must obtain in person.
  • Must show proof of age, which may be a state driver's license showing birth date, a birth certificate, or similar document.

Benefits:

  • Honored nationwide at all Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging entrance or standard amenity fees
  • Senior Annual Pass – Valid for one year from month of purchase. 
  • Senior Lifetime Pass  - Valid for pass holder's lifetime. 
  • Admits pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle.
  • At per-person fee areas, admits pass holder and up to 3 persons. Persons 15 and younger are admitted free of charge.
  • Receives a 50% discount on some expanded amenity fees: 
    • Generally applies to:
      • Single family campsites
      • Highly developed boat launches or swimming sites
      • Guided tours, movies and seminars (pass holder only)
    • Does not apply to:
      • Additional campsites not occupied by pass holder
      • Flat fee for a group campsite
      • Separate fee for utility hookups

Display:

At staffed sites, show your pass to the booth attendant. 

At unstaffed sites, use hangtag to display pass from rear-view mirror. Hangtags are available wherever you purchase a pass.

At per-person sites, present pass upon request.

Other Important Details:

Nontransferable.

A $20 Senior Annual Pass may be applied towards the purchase of a $80 Senior Lifetime Pass.  Simply bring your Senior Annual pass(es), with your name on the signature line. Each valid pass will count as $20 towards the $80 purchase price of the Senior Lifetime Pass.    

Belongs to the signer only and s/he must be present for the pass to be used. Photo identification may be requested to verify pass ownership.

Concessionaires may or may not honor this pass, according to the terms of their current permit.

Pass holders receive a 50% discount on some expanded amenity fees.

Decals may be issued free for open topped vehicles at unstaffed sites. Decals are only valid when the owner has an accompanying valid pass.

Are not valid for any special recreation permits.

How to Obtain a Pass and Hangtag :

Available online at https://store.usgs.gov/ or at most national forest or grassland offices. Passes purchased through USGS have an extra $10 processing fee.

Interagency Access Pass

Cost:

Free, lifetime

Who Qualifies:

Must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.

Must have a medical determination and documentation of blindness or permanent disability. 

Benefits:

  • Honored nationwide at all Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging entrance or standard amenity fees
  • Valid for pass holder's lifetime. 
  • Admits pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle. 
  • At per-person fee sites, admits pass holder and up to 3 persons. Persons 15 and younger are admitted free of charge. 
  • Receives a 50% discount on some expanded amenity fees like campgrounds (does not include hookups for water/sewer/electricity), highly developed boat launches and swimming sites and for specialized interpretive services.
    • Generally applies to:
      • Single family campsites
      • Highly developed boat launches or swimming sites
      • Guided tours, movies and seminars (pass holder only)
    • Does not apply to:
      • Additional campsites not occupied by pass holder
      • Flat fee for a group campsite
      • Separate fee for utility hookups
      • On some expanded amenity fees like campgrounds (does not include hookups for water/sewer/electricity), highly developed boat launches and swimming sites and for specialized interpretive services.

Display:

At staffed sites, show your pass to the booth attendant.

At unstaffed sites, use hangtag to display pass from rear-view mirror. Hangtags are available wherever you purchase a pass.

At per-person sites, present pass upon request.

Documentation Required:

Must submit one of the following documents in person:

1. A statement signed by a licensed physician attesting that the applicant has a permanent physical, mental, or sensory impairment that severely limits one or more major life activity. 

2. A document issued by a federal agency, such as the Veteran's Administration, which attests that the applicant has been medically determined to be eligible to receive federal benefits as a result of disability. Other acceptable federal agency documents include proof of receipt of Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) due to disability. 

3. A document issued by a state agency, such as the vocational rehabilitation agency, which attests that the applicant has been medically determined to be eligible to receive that agencies benefits or services as a result of medically determined permanent disability. Showing a state motor vehicle department disability sticker, license plate, or hang tag is not acceptable documentation.

Other Important Details:

Nontransferable.

Belongs to the signer only and s/he must be present for the pass to be used. Photo identification may be requested to verify pass ownership.

If the person receiving the pass is unable to sign, a parent or guardian may sign the pass holder’s name for him/her.

Concessionaires may or may not honor this pass, according to the terms of their current permit.

Holders receive a 50% discount on some expanded amenity fees.

Decals may be issued free for open topped vehicles at unstaffed sites. Decals are only valid when the owner has an accompanying valid pass.

Are not valid for any special recreation permits.

How to Obtain a Pass and Hangtag:

Available online at https://store.usgs.gov or at most national forest or grassland offices. Passes issued through USGS have a $10 processing fee.  

Interagency Volunteer Pass

American the Beautiful; The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, Senior Pass

Cost:

Free

Who Qualifies:

U.S. citizens or permanent residents who individually accrue 250 volunteer hours.

Benefits:

  • Honored nationwide at all Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging entrance or standard amenity fees.

  • Valid for 12 months from the month of issue. Expires the last day of the month punched.

  • Admits pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle.

At per-person fee sites, admits pass holder and up to 3 persons. Persons 15 and younger are admitted free of charge.

Validation:

The date is validated by the issuer at the time of issue. The pass is not valid for use until volunteer signs the pass.

Display:

At staffed sites, show your pass to the booth attendant.

At unstaffed sites, use hangtag to display pass from rear-view mirror. Hangtags are available wherever you purchase a pass.

At per-person sites, present pass upon request.

Eligibility Requirements:

The pass is available through agency volunteer program coordinators. Work with your local forest volunteer coordinator to ensure your volunteer hours are tracked and recorded.

A volunteer may begin to accrue hours on or after January 1, 2007.

There is no specific time frame in which the volunteer hours must be accrued. Only one pass may be issued per year to an individual. Once a pass is awarded, volunteer hours are set back to zero. 

Volunteer hours may be accrued for any agency-sponsored volunteer activity. Individual volunteers may also accumulate hours while working with a group.

Other Important Details:

Non-transferable and non-replaceable if lost or stolen.

Belongs to the signer only and s/he must be present for the pass to be used. Photo identification may be requested to verify pass ownership.

Decals may be issued free for open topped vehicles at unstaffed sites   Decals are only valid when the owner has an accompanying valid pass.

Does not cover expanded amenity fees or special recreation permits.

How to Obtain a Pass and Hangtag:

Available at most national forest or grassland offices.

Volunteer Opportunities:

www.volunteer.gov

https://www.fs.usda.gov/visit/passes-permits/recreation-fees-passes