WASHINGTON — The National Park Service sells a lifetime pass to anyone 62 years old or older for $10, but that soon will change.
The senior pass allows access to all 417 national parks and more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
But the great deal won’t last long. The American Association of Retired Persons said the price will rise to $80 by the end of the year.
An annual pass costs $20, which can be applied to the cost of the lifetime pass at a later point.
“We don’t want anyone to feel blindsided and say, ‘Why didn’t anyone tell us about this,’” National Park Service spokeswoman Kathy Kupper told AARP. “We don’t know whether we’ll get any pushback. [The higher fee] is still a great deal.”
It will be the first price increase of the senior pass since 1994. The move comes after Congress approved the National Park Service Centennial Act in December.
Money from the price increase will set up an endowment to help pay for projects and enhancements at the parks.