If you’ve been following our blogs, you’ll have noticed that we’ve written quite a lot about the awesome savings we made by purchasing the annual USA National Parks pass. So we thought it worth posting a separate blog for those who are interested, so we stop boring those who aren’t.
Basically if you’re going to spend any amount of time road tripping though the USA and hitting up several of the National Parks, we’d recommend checking it out. When we bought our pass in 2014 it cost only $80 and is available for anybody to buy. Just rock up at a park and ask for the annual pass. By the end of our 20,000+ km trip we’d more than made our money back (and then some!) with the individual park entrance fees adding up to over USD $300.
The pass is valid for 12 months and can be signed by two people, one of whom must be present and provide ID upon entering a National Park. The pass then allows entry for one named person and up to three additional passengers traveling in the same vehicle.
Below is a tally of the parks we visited, the entrance fees charged (most of these are for 7 days entry) and some photos to inspire you. Every National Park we visited across the USA was unique in its landscape, and there are several that we may have skipped out on if we had to pay the entrance fees individually. The beauty of the NPS annual pass is that we didn’t have to, which made us more inclined to visit smaller parks or take the scenic route, which after all is what a road trip is all about.
- Badlands National Park, South Dakota – $15
- Devil’s Tower National Monument, Wyoming – $10
- Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming – $25
- Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming – $25
- Glacier National Park, Montana – $25 ($15 winter)
- Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington – $16 ($8 per person)
- Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park, California – technically this one is free for everybody
- Death Valley National Park, California – $20
- Yosemite National Park, California – $20
- Joshua Tree National Park, California- $15
- Lake Mead National Recreational Area, Nevada – $10
- Zion National Park, Utah – $25
- Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah – $25
- Capitol Reef National Park, Utah – $5
- Arches National Park, Utah – $10
- Canyonlands National Park, Utah – $10
- Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado – $10 ($15 in high season)
- Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona – $25
- Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona – $10
- Saguaro National Park, Arizona – $10
All fees are as of November 2014 and are for one car entering the park. We’ve provided all the links to the appropriate NPS websites and therefore take no responsibility if this information is outdated or incorrect.