National park passes in high demand among seniors before price hike

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- There's a rush by seniors to buy lifetime passes to national parks before the price goes up eight times.

Since 1994, anyone 62 years old and older could buy a senior lifetime pass for just $10, but that deal is coming to an end. On Aug. 28, the price is going up to $80.

"Just this week alone I've probably sold over 100 senior passes myself, and that went from normally probably 20 a week to now 100 or more," said Rebecca Miller, with the San Bernardino National Forest.

The 700 percent price hike has people flocking to the San Bernardino National Forest office to buy senior lifetime passes.

The lifetime passes can be used at national parks, forests, and monuments across the country, including Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Park.

Pam Waldow and her husband drove in from Westminster to purchase their passes.

"It's one of the most beautiful parks, so we hope to get there again," she said.

Why the price hike?

Forest officials said in 2016, Congress passed a bill to raise the fee on passes. The additional revenue will go toward park maintenance and improvements.

Due to their popularity and the looming deadline to purchase a senior lifetime pass, forest officials said you should call in to their offices to make sure they still have passes to sell.

For questions on passes, call the San Bernardino National Forest front desk at (909) 382-2600.

See the list below for California national parks that require entrance fees:

  • Cabrillo National Monument

  • Death Valley National Park

  • Joshua Tree National Park

  • Lassen Volcanic National Park

  • Lava Beds National Monument

  • Muir Woods National Monument

  • Pinnacles National Park

  • San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

  • Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

  • Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

  • Yosemite National Park
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