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The National Park Service is proposing an increase in entrance fees at 131 park units including Rocky Mountain National Park.
Tourists enjoy watching herds of elk Moraine Park in Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, CO on September 25, 2014. Helen H. Richardson, Denver Post via Getty Images

Seniors Can Get Lifetime Access to National Parks For Just $10. But Not For Long

Apr 17, 2017

Older Americans can access more than 84 million acres of land protected by the National Park Service for the rest of their lives for just $10 — but not for long.

The National Park Service's lifetime pass will be eight times more expensive soon — costing $80 for American citizens who are older than 62. And w hile it is unclear when the price surge will take effect, this week — National Park Week — offers a good opportunity to remind older Americans to purchase their passes before it's too late.

The agency offers a variety of passes for Americans, as 137 of its sites charge for admission. Seniors can still get the lifetime passes for $10 in person, or pay an additional $10 for processing fees to get it online.

Despite the price increase coming soon for seniors, the lifetime access to parks around the country is still a steal, according to an NPS spokeswoman.

“We don’t want anyone to feel blindsided and say, ‘Why didn’t anyone tell us about this?' ” National Park Service spokeswoman Kathy Kupper told the the American Association of Retired Persons. “We don’t know whether we’ll get any pushback. [The higher fee] is still a great deal.”

The National Park Service has not raised the price on the senior pass since 1994, according to AARP.

In Dec. 2016, under the Obama Administration, Congress approved the National Park Service Centennial Act, which raised park fees and helped fund infrastructure issues throughout the country's national parks.

National Park Week, which offers discounts and special programs at a variety of parks, will conclude April 23.

A spokesperson for the National Park Service could not be reached for comment.

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