Paycheck Chronicles

Free National Parks Pass


Now that the weather has warmed up, it is the perfect time to look for outdoor activities.  Thankfully, the National Parks Service offers free annual passes to military servicemembers and their families.  The pass is called America the Beautiful - The National Parks and Federal Recreation Area.


The free annual pass is available to US military members and their dependents.  It is also available to most members of the US Reserves and National Guard. Proper military ID is required (CAC Card or DoD Form 1173).  (I'll admit that I don't completely understand the rules for the Reserves and the National Guard - you should probably call the site you plan to visit to confirm eligibility and necessary documents before you go.)


A free annual entrance pass to National Parks Service parks, Fish and Wildlife Service parks, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation sites.  The pass admits the pass owners and any accompanying passengers in a private vehicle at sites that charge per vehicle, or the pass owner and up to additional 3 adults at sites that charge per person.  There are no entry fees for children 15 and under.

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


Passes can be obtained in person at federal recreation sites that charge entrance or standard amenity fees.  A list of sites that sell pass is available.   Sites that issue the Annual Pass will generally also issue the free US military version as well, but please confirm this before travelling.

For the most complete details, see the website at

I hope to hear that some of you are able to use this great offer!

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