If your vacation or weekend plans include visits to national parks and recreation areas, consider getting a National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass.
Benefits of the Pass
The pass provide entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across the United States. Entrance covers:
- Pass owner and accompanying passengers in a single private vehicle where per-vehicle fees are charged.
- Pass owner and three accompanying individuals ages 16 and older where per-person entrance fees are charged (children under 16 are admitted for free).
Types of Passes
- Annual Pass - It’s $80 (ages 16 years and older) and valid for one year.
- Annual Pass for Military - Members of the U.S. military and their dependents are eligible for a free Annual Pass.
- Senior Pass - It’s $10 and valid for the lifetime of the pass owner. You must be 62 years or older and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Access Pass - It’s free for the lifetime of the pass holder with documentation of a permanent disability. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Volunteer Pass - You can earn this pass with 250 or more hours of volunteer service on public lands. The pass is valid for one year.
From the U.S. Department of Interior:
Not all of our public lands are far from urban areas. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area chronicles two hundred years of history, from Native American culture, the Spanish Empire frontier and the Mexican Republic, to maritime history, and the California Gold Rush. It also provides some pretty killer views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco.
Photo: Justin Kern
Image description: Top photo: the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico.
Bottom photo: San Juan Islands National Monument in Washington
On Monday, President Obama established five new national monuments across the country. The monuments protect natural resources and preserve rich history and lush landscapes in five different states: Delaware, Maryland, New Mexico, Ohio and Washington.
From the White House:
The monuments are:
Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio: The monument will preserve the home of Col. Charles Young (1864–1922), a distinguished officer in the United States Army who was the third African American to graduate from West Point and the first to achieve the rank of Colonel.
First State National Monument in Delaware: The monument will tell the story of the early Dutch, Swedish, Finnish and English settlement of the colony of Delaware, as well as Delaware’s role as the first state to ratify the Constitution. The park is comprised of three historic areas related to Delaware’s rich history: the Dover Green, the New Castle Court House complex (including the courthouse, Green and Sheriff’s House), and the Woodlawn property in the Brandywine Valley.
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Maryland: The monument commemorates the life of the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad who was responsible for helping enslaved people escape from bondage to freedom. The new national park, located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, includes large sections of landscapes that are significant to Tubman’s early life in Dorchester County and evocative of her life as a slave and conductor of the Underground Railroad.
Río Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico: Located northwest of Taos, the Río Grande del Norte contains stretches of the Río Grande Gorge and extinct volcanoes that rise from the Taos Plateau. The area is known for its spectacular landscapes and recreational opportunities – like rafting, fishing and hiking – and serves as important habitat for many birds and wildlife.
San Juan Islands National Monument in Washington: Home to bald eagles, orca whales, harbor seals and other rare species, the San Juan Islands is a chain of 450 islands, rocks and pinnacles. Located in Washington State’s Puget Sound, the archipelago provides an opportunity for visitors, campers, kayakers and birdwatchers to experience the natural beauty of the undeveloped, rugged landscape.
Learn more about the five new national monuments.
View more pictures of Rio Grande del Norte and San Juan Islands national monuments.
Photos from the Bureau of Land Management.
Visit Recreation.gov to plan your outdoor activities at federal lands across the United States.
You can search for locations that offer the activities you enjoy—including hiking, biking, boating, horseback riding, and climbing—and make reservations for camping, lodging, picnic areas, permits, and tours.
Enjoy America’s great outdoors this summer!