Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Hurry - Get the Last Great American Bargain!

On the way to Saguaro National Park West
Want to be admitted free at any of the United States' national parks for the rest of your life?  Are there three other people in your car who'd like to get in for free, too?  Would you like a 50% discount on some amenities like camping?

Then don't hesitate if you're a US citizen and at least 62 years old to run to your nearest national park and pay $10 for the Senior Pass.  It truly is the last great bargain in America. It entitles you to free admission and use of all national parks (At most of the parks in the west--the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite-- you will save $20-$25 per car.) as well as Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Fish and Wildlife Land (FWS), Reclamation and Forest Service properties (USDA-FS). And the $10 pass is good for the rest of your life!

But you've got to hurry.  The ranger at Tucson's National Saguara Park West (There are two on either side of Tucson.) told me that the legislation making the Senior Pass possible expires in 2014, and no one knows what will happen.  Everyone hopes the program will remain in place, but it may be discontinued or the fee increased considerably.  Luckily, though, the ranger assured me, all passes bought before 2014 will be honored no matter what.  And, if a new program is in place, current Senior Pass holders will be grandfathered in.  So, get your pass now, and you'll be assured of free admission forever.  What a deal!

Practicalities -

According to a pamphlet explaining the program, passes may be purchased at many locations throughout the country.  You can apply in person or by mail.  Note that you must provide proof of age and residency.  For further uinformation, click here.

Note that there are other passes available:  The $80 annual pass is available to anyone, while the Access Pass for US residents with a permanent disability, regardless of age, is free.  All active members of the military qualify for a free pass.

For further information about Federal Lands or to make reservations, click here.

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