|Above, The Beast at Joshua Tree National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
It is now less than a month before the national park lifetime Senior Pass jumps eight times from the current $10 to $80 on August 21.
The price hike may seem like a big jump (well, it is), but it is not unreasonable and is still a bargain. As one can imagine, there is a big backlog in purchases online.
The News-Review has an editorial on the subject and they begin it with:
Get your lifetime senior pass for the national parks and federal recreational areas by Aug. 28, or it’ll cost eight times as much, headlines have blared through the summer months.
Everyone’s in a desperate hurry to snap up the $10 pass before its price jumps to $80 on that date, and some seniors just under the 62-year age limit naturally feel a bit resentful. If you’ve already got a pass though, don’t worry, it remains valid for life even though you only paid $10 for it.
Not surprisingly, the federal government has a backlog of senior pass orders to process, as park lovers scramble to pick up their passes before the deadline. It’s recommending seniors purchase their passes at the first National Park Service site they visit rather than ordering online or by mail if they will need to use their pass in the next three months. Nevertheless, orders postmarked before Aug. 28 will be valid for the $10 rate.If one doesn't want to pay $80 in one pop, there's an "installment plan" that works like this:
For seniors who don’t feel they’ll make enough park visits to be worth the new $80 price, there’s a new annual senior pass for $20. Buy four of those, and you’ll automatically be eligible for a lifetime pass without paying again.The hike isn't unreasonable as it seems as it does go for a good cause. The price hasn't been raised since 1994 and three visits to a national park that charges $30 per carload will effectively make the pass pay for itself.
To read more, go here.