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Did You Know Military Members Can Enjoy Free Admission to National Parks?

By - Posted on June 19, 2015

With summer upon us, thousands of active duty personnel and their families will soon be starting to plan their family vacations. For many, this means saving up all year long to enjoy a few days’ worth of fun in the sun. But, did you know that active duty military and their dependents can enjoy more than 2,000 federal recreation sites for free?

The National Park Service offers a free annual pass for all Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard members, as well as for Reservists and National Guard members. Simply by being a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, you can get this $80 pass at no cost.

How to Obtain Your Pass

The National Park Service free pass can only be obtained in person at any Federal recreation site. Active duty or reserve members must show their Common Access Card (CAC) or Military ID (Form 1173) for verification purposes.

What Does the Free Pass Cover?

The free pass covers entrance to any Fish and Wildlife Service or National Park Service site that charges entrance fees, and any Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation site that charges standard amenity fees. The free pass grants admission for the pass owner and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas, or the pass owner and up to three other adults at sites that charge per person.

What Does the Free Pass Not Cover?

The free pass does not cover or provide a discount on expanded amenity fees such as camping, boat launch, or interpretive fees.

Where are Some Places I Can Use the Free Pass?

There are thousands of sites where you can use your free pass, including the country’s 58 National Parks below:

  • Acadia National Park
  • Arches National Park
  • Badlands National Park
  • Big Bend National Park
  • Biscayne National Park
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Capitol Reef National Park
  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Channel Islands National Park
  • Congaree National Park
  • Crater Lake National Park
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  • Death Valley National Park
  • Denali National Park & Preserve
  • Dry Tortugas National Park
  • Everglades National Park
  • Gates of the Arctic National Park
  • Glacier Bay National Park
  • Glacier National Park
  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Grand Teton National Park
  • Great Basin National Park
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Guadalupe Mountains National Park
  • Haleakala National Park
  • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
  • Hot Springs National Park
  • Isle Royale National Park
  • Joshua Tree National Park
  • Katmai National Park and Preserve
  • Kenai Fjords National Park
  • Kings Canyon National Park
  • Kobuk Valley National Park
  • Lake Clark National Park
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park
  • Mammoth Cave National Park
  • Mesa Verde National Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • National Park of American Samoa
  • North Cascades National Park
  • Olympic National Park
  • Petrified Forest National Park
  • Redwood National Park
  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Saguaro National Park
  • Sequoia National Park
  • Shenandoah National Park
  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park
  • Virgin Islands National Park
  • Voyageurs National Park
  • Wind Cave National Park
  • Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Zion National Park

This year, why not plan a summer vacation that your family will remember? Visit a National Park! And, while you’re at it, save some money by taking advantage of your free pass. What more could you ask for? Start planning your trip by finding a National Park near you.

Posted in Military Life