should you purchase a national park annual pass

Should You Purchase a National Park Annual Pass?

by | Jun 30, 2023

One of the most popular reasons guests stay at Chuckwagon Lodge is to spend time exploring Capitol Reef National Park. But there are also several national parks, state parks, and other outdoor destinations that you can day trip to during your stay in one of the best hotels Torrey Utah has to offer.

Arches National Park and Zion National Park, for instance, are both less than three hours from our Capitol Reef resort. Bryce Canyon is just two hours away. Otter Creek State Park and Fremont Indian State Park and Museum also make for great day trips from Chuckwagon.

If you’re thinking about visiting a few national parks during your visit, purchasing a national park annual pass may help you save some money. Keep reading to learn more about this pass and how to get one during your stay.

Entrance Fees for Popular Southern Utah National Parks

Before we explore how a national park annual pass can help you save money during your stay at one of the best hotels Torrey Utah has to offer, let’s take a look at the entrance fees you can expect to pay during your visit.

Many national parks across the U.S. do not charge an entrance fee. Of the 419 national parks, just 116 charge an entrance fee. However, most of the popular national parks across the West and Southwest do. This fee helps to offset the costs associated with maintaining these high-attendance parks. All five of Utah’s Mighty 5 national parks charge a fee for entry.

The entrance fees for some of the national parks and other National Park Service sites you might visit during your stay include:

These parks charge a per-person fee for visitors entering on foot. Children age 15 or younger are admitted for free.

If you’re entering a national park by car, the entrance fee will gain entry for you and any passengers in your vehicle (as long as there are 15 or fewer people in your vehicle). It also allows for access to the park for seven consecutive days. With fees ranging from $10 to $35, this fee is a pretty affordable way to enjoy a day or more in one of our nation’s beautiful parks.

But if you plan to visit two or more national parks during your stay at our Capitol Reef resort, you may be able to save money on your entrance fees by purchasing a national park annual pass.

National Park Annual Pass

The America the Beautiful Pass is an annual pass that provides access to all national parks and other National Park Service-managed sites, including national monuments, forests, battlefields, and more. 

This pass is available to both U.S. citizens and international visitors for a fee of $80 per year. Each pass can have two named cardholders. It allows access to these sites for those cardholders as well as all occupants in a personal vehicle, or up to three additional adults if entering on foot. You can purchase an annual pass at most entrance gates to parks that charge an entrance fee. You can also purchase your pass online.

Certain groups of individuals may be eligible to purchase an annual pass for a discounted rate or receive one free of charge. 

Current U.S. military members and their dependents, for instance, are eligible for a free Military Annual Pass. U.S. fourth graders, including children aged 10 that are in a home-school or free-choice learning program, can also get a free pass for the school year for them and their families to use.

Seniors age 62 or older can purchase a lifetime pass for $80, or an annual pass for $20. Citizens and permanent residents with a permanent disability may be eligible for a free lifetime pass.

Saving on Your Stay at One of the Best Hotels Torrey Utah Has to Offer

If you’re planning to visit more than two national parks or National Park Service sites during your stay at our Capitol Reef resort, or if you plan to visit more in the coming year, purchasing a national park annual pass can help you save money.

Looking for another great way to save money during your stay at one of the best hotels Torrey Utah has to offer? Right now, you can save big when you book a stay of three or more nights at Chuckwagon Lodge. For a limited time, when you book a stay of three or more nights, you’ll enjoy a 25 percent discount on your stay. Book today to take advantage of this deal!

The Chuckwagon Blog

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