Which Annual or Lifetime Pass Is the Right One for You?

Sharon Ringsven

The America the Beautiful—National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Passes are a suite of annual and lifetime passes that provide U.S. citizens and visitors an affordable and convenient way to access federal recreation lands. These are often referred to as “Interagency Passes,” and up to 100% of the pass program’s proceeds are used to improve and enhance visitor recreation services.

Annual passes are valid for 12 months from the month of purchase. (Hint: if you purchase at the beginning of the month, they are valid for almost 13 months.) Lifetime passes are valid from the time of purchase/issuance. Some annual and lifetime passes have eligibility requirements.

These passes are available at most National Park Service sites and several other federal recreation areas: Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish & Wildlife Service, Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Forest Service. Saguaro National Park is the closest location that carries all available passes, and REI is an authorized partner that sells the Interagency Annual Pass. You can also obtain them through the official U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Store online platform at store.usgs.gov/recreational-passes. You can also find what federal site is closest to you to obtain in person at nps.gov/planyourvisit/pickup-pass-locations.htm.

Enjoy visiting your federal lands!