The Senior Pass that allows lifetime access to more than 2,000 federal sites and parks throughout the country, including Joshua Tree National Park, will increase from $10 to $80 on Aug. 28, 2017.
In December 2016, Congress passed legislation requiring that the price of the lifetime Senior Pass be the same as the Interagency Annual Pass, which is currently $80. The legislation also introduces a new annual Senior Pass that can be purchased for $20. Seniors who purchase annual Senior Passes for four years can trade them in for a lifetime Senior Pass at no additional charge.
The price of the Senior Pass has been $10 since 1994. U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are age 62 years or older can buy the lifetime pass for $10 before Aug. 28 at a national park or other Federal recreation area that charges an entrance or standard amenity (day-use) fee. They are available at two Visitor Centers in JTNP: Oasis Visitor Center at park headquarters in 29 Palms, 8:30 a.m. – p.m. daily; and Joshua Tree Visitor Center on Park Boulevard in Joshua Tree, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.
The pass can also be obtained by mail or online for $10 before Aug. 28, but an additional $10 processing charge will make the total cost of the pass $20. Due to high order volume, there could be delays with online and mail order processing of up to several months.
Golden Age or Senior Passes purchased before Aug. 28 will be honored for the pass holder’s lifetime.
The Senior Pass covers all entrance fees and standard amenity (day-use) fees and may provide discounts for things such as tours or campsites. The pass also waives the entrance fee for individuals traveling with the pass holder. At per-vehicle fee sites, the pass admits the pass holder and all passengers in a noncommercial vehicle. At per-person fee sites, the pass admits the pass holder and three other adults, while children under 16 are always admitted free.
The Senior Pass can be used at sites managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The increase in the fee will support critical maintenance projects at national parks and federal recreational lands.