700 percent increase coming in cost of senior passes to national parks

Perhaps you are 62 or older and think you might want to visit a national park or two before you die. Let us offer you some advice: Get thee to a federal recreation site – be it a national park, national forest or Bureau of Land Management office – and buy a lifetime senior pass that gains you entrance to all federal lands that charge entrance fees, for as long as you live. The cost of one will be increasing by 800%.

To be clear, the current price – $10 for a lifetime of access to any and all national parks and federal lands – may be the best of all bargains available to America’s seniors. For less than the price of a pizza, you can gain admittance to every national park, from Acadia to Yosemite, from Denali to the Everglades, and every Glacier and Yellowstone in between, at any time, for the rest of your life.

In all, the $10 pass gains seniors access to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas. But last month, Congress raised the price of a National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands senior pass to $80.

The steep hike was a little-discussed provision of the National Parks Centennial Act, which received bipartisan support in the House and unanimous consent in the Senate when it was passed in December.

“Eighty dollars for a lifetime senior pass is still pretty reasonable,” said National Park Service spokesman Jeff Olson. “Everybody else pays $80 a year” for an annual pass.

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