Big price hike coming for seniors' National Parks lifetime passes

A long line of cars crawl up the Going-to-the Sun Road near the Logan Pass Visitor Center parking lot on Wednesday

National Parks leaders and other government sites have been trying to alert seniors to the big price hike, urging them to act quickly if they want to order the $10 passes before the cost goes up. US citizens and permanent residents who are 62 years or older can purchase the lifetime pass for $10 until August 28.

The increased fees for senior passes will support maintenance projects at parks and other federal recreation areas.

Seniors might want to buy a lifetime pass to national parks soon.

"You can purchase them at any of our entry stations when you come up to the national park, provide you ID that shows your birthday, and $10 dollars, and we can take care of you", Richards said.

Whatever the cost, the paid passes are only necessary at 118 of the 417 National Park Service sites, as the other 299 don't charge admission anyway.

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Currently, the lifetime passes are $10.

Online pass buyers must pay a $10 handling fee on top of the $10 pass fee, she said. "Where you buy your annual or senior lifetime pass is where your money stays".

Seniors can buy passes online through the U.S. Geological Survey at store.usgs.gov/senior-pass, or at the Santa Lucia Ranger District office, located at 1616 N. Carlotti Drive in Santa Maria.

USA citizens or permanent residents 62 years or older are eligible for the Senior Pass. At per-vehicle sites, the pass admits the pass holder and all passengers in a non-commercial vehicle.

Access passes for people with disabilities are free.

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