by Mark Albert
A bison herd in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park; courtesy: U.S. National Park Service
WASHINGTON (TVR) – The United States National Park Service is waiving fees at all National Parks at the end of this week, part of a series of 10 days this year when America’s preserved lands will be open to all without cost.
This Friday, August 25, is fee-free.
–>RELATED: 5 Amazing Hiking Trails in the United States
Entrance fees at the 30% of national parks that charge them generally range from between $3-$30.
Free Entrance Days waive entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees, the U.S. National Park Service says.
However, “reservation, camping, tours, concession, and fees collected by third parties,” are still assessed.
–>VIDEO: How We Save 50%-80% Off Every Flight
–->SUPPORT: Help Support Our Journalism & Original Content
The cost of a National Parks Senior Pass will soon septuple—spiking 700% from $10 to $80 as of August 28.
It’s the first increase of any kind since 1994 to the Senior Pass, which allows unlimited, lifetime access to America’s national parks and up to 50% off some amenity fees.
The National Park Service (NPS) says it is hiking the cost to generate additional revenue which will be used “to enhance the visitor experience in parks.”
NPS blames the move on Congress, which passed Centennial Legislation requiring the Senior Pass be equal to the cost of the Lands Pass, which is currently $80 per year.
The legislation also established a new annual Senior Pass for $20.
The National Park Service does offer discounts to certain groups of people year-round.
For example, fourth graders get a free annual pass through the Every Kid in a Park program.
In addition, active duty military members as well as people with a permanent disability are also eligible for free annual passes.
Discounted or free passes are also available for volunteers.
-–>SIGN UP: For more news, get The Voyage Report newsletter for FREE
–>TIPS: The Best, Must-Have Travel Apps
–>DEAL ALERT: Teachers Get Travel Discounts in NYC, U.S.