One Mile at a Time recently clued us into a huge discount: Senior citizens over the age of 62 are entitled to a $10 lifetime pass. (For online applications, there is an additional $10 processing fee. See below on how to avoid it.)
Starting on August 28, 2017, the cost of the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass is skyrocketing to $80. The National Park Centennial act (bill H.R.4680, Section 102) that was signed into law December 16 includes some serious price hikes for seniors and introduces an alternative $20 pass valid only for one year. There's no information yet on when this will go into effect.
Unlike the British Airways' AARP discount, eligible passholders must be aged 62 or older to qualify for one of the biggest travel discounts out there. The pass is limited to U.S. citizens and lets the pass owner plus three additional people through for free through all national parks. The pass owner must be present so get ready for quality family time if you're still bumming off the folks.
(A $80 annual pass is available for those 62 and under.)
So far, it looks like the National Park Service hasn't done the official price hike yet but it's worth getting before the pass quadruples or octuples in cost. The website also recommends that if you need your pass within 10 days or less to get it on-site and has the additional benefit of avoiding the processing fee.
For more information on the pass, head on over to the U.S. Geological Survey website for complete details. It might be time to get travel new year resolutions in order, stat.