What better way to enjoy and explore your abilities than to visit national parks and recreation sites throughout the United States? Persons with disabilities who are citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. may be able to obtain a free lifetime pass that allows access to over 2,000 “Federal Recreation Sites.” Here’s some info to get you started on your next adventure.
What are Federal Recreation Sites?
Well, the whole reason you might want to apply for this pass! These sites include National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, and other federal recreation lands such as National Forests. You can find more information on national parks at the National Park Service website (which also has more info about the Access Pass.)
What do I get with the free National Parks Access Pass?
This pass will allow the owner of the pass, and any passengers traveling with the owner (specifically, in a single non-commercial vehicle) or the pass owner and three-additional adults, depending on how fees are normally charged at the site.
You might also get discounts on other amenities, again depending on the location—such as camping fees. According to the USGS, these discounts can vary quite a bit depending on the recreation site, so you’ll want to ask ahead of time what you may qualify for. The USGS site also has more information on the benefits of the Access Pass.
Remember you’ll need to bring a Photo ID with you as well, so you can confirm you are indeed the owner of the Pass.
How do I get a free national park access pass?
You can get the pass through the mail or in person at certain federal recreation sites. You can apply for the Access Pass online. Or, you can apply via mail with the link below if you cannot apply online. Here’s some of the things you’ll need:
- Photo identification to verify you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Documentation that you are a person with a permanent disability. This can include a statement by a licensed physician, a Federal document, or a document issued by certain State agencies. You’ll want to review the Access Pass documentation carefully on the USGS site to determine exactly what you’ll need.
Is it really free?
Yes, the Access Pass is really free, according to the USGS government website. Be aware that there is a $10 (ten dollar) fee for processing the application, but the pass itself would not cost you anything.