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How Expensive It Is To Go To A National Park These Days?

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It’s not just National Parks but also State Parks. My son lives in Omaha NE. I have a Class A towing a Jeep with a Harley on a lift behind the motorhome that I wasn’t even going to unload. The local Nebraska State Park, which charges residents $4 for a day pass, wanted $8 a day for a non resident and one pass for EACH of the 3 vehicles, the RV, the Jeep and the Harley. That’s $24 a day for the entrance pass. The camp site went up from $16 to $30 non electric or $35 electric only. That’s $59 a day for an electric only site. I could go to a private RV Park with full hook up and a pool for that price. 

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Our 14 night stay at Salt Springs Recreation Area in the Ocala National Forest in Florida cost $22.07/night for a full hookup site using our Senior Access pass. Our 5 night stay at the Lake Powhatan Recreation Area in the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina was $21.60/night for a full hookup site with the pass. Both parks are concessionaire run. Our various state park sites in southern GA and FL over the winter months averaged a bit under $25/night for water & electric sites and $35/night for a full hookup water view site.

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The cost of a lifetime Senior Pass......went from $10 to $80 in 2017.

That is still a bargain. 


When the passes were first introduced in 1988, the Golden Age Pass was free of charge for a lifetime, and the Golden Eagle cost around $10 for a year of use. But costs have risen, and now, for example, it costs $20 for a week's entry into adjacent Yellowstone/Grand Teton parks.

My dad had one of those. He was 81 when he got it,

Edited by Kirk W
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Before price increases I received both the life time National Senior Pass (Golden Age) , and Disabled Veteran (Golden Eagle) national passes around same time and have used them extensively at all federal public campgrounds.  Also have the Oregon Disabled veterans free and 50% percent state pass plus Nevada and Texas disabled vet pass for their state parks.  American Land & Leisure in California honors my 100% Disabled P&T ID (military and VA ID cards) for 50% discount camping at some state parks.

Have saved thousands of dollars since 1998 from all 5 passes and this equaled more fishing camping.

Have used all extensively and only occasional use of overcrowded private RV parks with nose to tail parking while in transit.  Life is good and payback is sweet indeed. EYHO.

William Perkins | Facebook


Please note a Disabled Veteran is also a disabled Person for those who like to argue.


Edited by NamMedevac 70
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1 hour ago, Greg112 said:

cheap at twice the price 

Well said sport. EYHO.

Retired Acct & SEC CFP. Former legislative aide and pilot to Two Texas Governors, 4 Honorable Discharges Active Army, Guard + Reserves.




Edited by NamMedevac 70
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I too have the Golden Age Passport for National Parks. It is good for a free entrance and half off camp fees at most NP. Some NP have a concessionaire running the camp ground and some concessionaires will not give the discount. 

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I obtained an Access Pass at no charge and my wife got her Senior Pass for only $10, so park admission is free and a lot of camping  and other fees are 1/2 price so its no expensive for us. HOWEVER the parks are victims of their own success and getting very crowded. When possible we like to go in the shoulder season say late April or September/October etc but if out West or at higher elevations that may not be possible due to snow grrrrrrrrrrrrrr  Then there's the BLM and National Forest plus other Wildflife or Fish and Game free camp sites if your equipped for extended dry camping with adequate Solar and Batteries or gensets etc. Regardless of cost, we love the National Parks, Americas greatest idea and get there often.  A few we havent yet been to but plan to this fall include Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Carlsbad Caverns yayyyyyyyyyyyyyy 

 John T


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