American the Beautiful senior pass: the best deal in camping and touring in National Parks and other federal attractions

I just got lucky and scored a campsite for two nights at lovely Pinecrest Lake up Hwy. 108, 25 miles east of Sonora.  The on-line reservation asked for my federal senior pass number, which I typed in.  I had forgotten this was a Forest Service campground – and with the 50% discount, we scored two nights for only $25!

Pinecrest Lake on Hwy. 108 above Sonora, lovely in summer with several pretty Forest Service campgrounds nearby!


If you are 62 or older, get the America the Beautiful federal senior pass, just $10 for life, offering you free entry into National Parks like Yosemite and Pinnacles and half-off most federal campgrounds!

America the Beautiful senior pass, deal of a lifetime!

America the Beautiful senior pass: They are available for in person purchase at the entrance to national parks and many national monuments, the America the beautiful senior pass, for those 62 and older, is the best deal in travel.

The pass gains you free admission into national parks, national monuments and other federal facilities. It saves you half price on most National Park, Forest Service, Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management and other federal campgrounds. And, get 1/2 off admission charges to many attractions (such as the caves and much more) in some of our national parks.

Between national park admission fees, and half-off on campgrounds – we probably have saved $1500 in the last 3+ years. I just booked the campground at Pinecrest Lake, forgetting it was in the national forest and had to pay only $25 for two nights, a lovely place and only a short walk to the pretty lake.

In person they cost $10 – for life – online you pay $20, again a pass for life. Here is the detail from the National Park Service web site:

1.   You can buy a Senior Pass in person from a participating Federal recreation site or office. See Site Locations that issue the Senior Pass.

2.   You can buy a Senior Pass using the USGS online store. Applicants must fill out the Online Application and upload proof of residency and age. This may be done by photographing your document and uploading it to the order. You will need to provide a credit card payment of $20.00 ($10.00 fee for the Senior Pass, and an additional $10.00 document processing fee). Once the documentation is verified and payment is received, a pass, with the pass owner’s name pre-printed on it, will be issued to the applicant. If you cannot order a Senior pass online, you can submit a Paper Application by mail to the USGS using the paper application and enclosing the same documents and $20 fee.

Online Senior Pass applications are processed and shipped within 3-5 business days from the day they arrive at USGS. Transit time varies, and is dependent upon the service selected:

• USPS – typically 5-10 business days
• FedEx Ground – typically 3-5 business days
• FedEx 2nd day – typically 2 business days
• FedEx Overnight – typically 1 business day

If you need your pass within 15 days or less,  it is recommended that you either obtain your pass at the first site you visit, or request expedited shipping services for your order.

3.   What is the Senior Pass?

A $10.00 lifetime pass that provides access to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by five Federal agencies, with up to 100% of the proceeds being used to improve and enhance visitor recreation services.

For more information: The America the Beautiful federal senior pass, see above; purchase in person at entrances to our national parks, or purchase on-line at: the Online Application; for more info on the National Park Service Centennial,

Read more from Tim Viall’s travel blog, follow him on Facebook or Twitter; or, email him at Happy travels in your world!

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