America The Beautiful Pass is sometimes known as Interagency Pass. There are several different passes all similar all with some differences. Do you need one? Do you need more than one? Who can have one? How to get one and why do I want one? I can’t answer the previous questions for you. I can tell you what passes I use and how I got them.
This post is updated from the previous July 2020 post.
America The Beautiful Pass/Interagency pass
America The Beautiful Pass /Interagency Pass is a big program. Holders get free entrance fees at National Parks, Forests, and lands managed by the federal and some state governments. Some but not all the possible passes also have the benefit of discounts on fees while inside the park.
Here is a link to the Interagency Pass Home Page
Here is a link to America the Beautiful Passes home page
The previous two passes are part of the umbrella program that covers Federal Passes. Continue reading because some passes have the same benefits with lower costs. I technically don’t have an America the Beautiful Pass or Interagency Pass, instead, I have an Access Pass.
The Rules are Subject to Change
Not only are the prices, rules, and benefits subject to change, but also the look of the passes also changes frequently. Some of the more current pass designs and the earlier pass designs are pictured below. I will make comments as I go along and provide quick links to the programs.
My Access Pass gives me free entrance, parking, and discounted camping (usually 50% off) at most National Parks, Forest Service Campgrounds, and Bureau of Land Management Campgrounds. The pass is for people with permanent disabilities. The person does not have to be totally disabled. I qualify for this pass based on my veteran’s disability status. It was free with proof of service and disability. Veterans status is not required to get this pass it is available to anyone with a disability. The free entrance applies to everyone in the car.
This site covers information and application for the Access Pass that I carry.
You do not need more than one pass
It is important that you understand that you do not need to carry multiple passes. The America the Beautiful Pass, Interagency Pass, and Access Pass all have about the same benefits. The price of the passes can however be different. A different (previous) name for the Access Pass was the Golden Access Passport, the benefits for this pass are the same.
Previous Access Pass styles
I would also qualify for many of the passes below but I don’t have them because the benefits of my Access Pass are equal to or better than any of the other passes pictured below. Each of the passes below has different benefits and costs.
Some state parks also honor the discount programs for America the Beautiful pass holders. That surprised me but I can’t remember where I was. Still, it was a nice perk.
As mentioned above, the America the Beautiful Annual Pass is pictured here. Do we have this kind of frog in the United States? Anyway here is a link to that program. America the Beautiful Annual Pass
The Golden Age Passport pictured below has changed and now the senior pass can either be an annual pass or a lifetime pass here is a link to the program. America the Beautiful Senior Pass
The Interagency Pass program has announced new programs for active-duty military, veterans, and disabled veterans. Included on this list are Gold Star families. This link will explain changes to the program. Gold Star Families and Veterans
Even though the program isn’t new some of the rules have changed. Active duty members get a short-term pass while Gold Star Families and Veterans get a lifetime pass. These passes allow access to the park but not discounts while in the park.
Even though I am a Veteran I don’t need these passes because I have an Access Pass based on being a disabled veteran. My Access Pass has better benefits than military passes.
As we travel the United States I will probably get different passes for different states. Make sure to check out the other posts about the state park passes we use. Amazing State Park Passes that we love to use
If you are a disabled veteran you don’t want to miss the post about the Oregon State Park Special Access Pass. This pass provides ten free camping days per month. Oregon State Parks Special Access Pass
Since benefits change depending on which pass you choose be careful with your decisions.
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About our links
As you know, our blog income is zero – this allows us to be independent and just tell the truth. We do not get income or commissions. No, we don’t make paid endorsements. We don’t make recommendations but instead, we will tell you what we like (or dislike). The links are only provided as a quick reference to help our readers.
Here is a link to the Interagency Pass Home Page
America the Beautiful Passes home page
Application for the Access Pass