Discovering our World

Travel, beauty, fashion, style and lifestyle blog by Ashley Liddle

America the Beautiful Pass

Going on a tour in the U.S. National Parks is definitely a wonderful experience.

How much does it cost to visit the US National Parks?

The price for the entrance can range from $10 up to $35, but if you focus only on the most famous and popular national parks, the price will be between $30 and $35. Here is an official page where you can find all the updated national parks entrance fees.

How much is the America the Beautiful Pass?

The National Parks Card will be a convenient solution for those planning to visit at least 3 national parks. When you get to the first park, ask for the National Parks Pass, an annual pass (also known as the America the Beautiful Pass) that costs $80 and that will allow you to visit the National Parks in the USA and come back whenever you want without having to pay again (which is very useful, because if you want to explore a national park in depth, you will find it difficult to accomplish in only one day).

What parks does the America The Beautiful Pass include?

The America the Beautiful Pass will give you access to all the parks managed by the NPS, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers.

You won’t be able to use it at:

  • The parks found on Indian reservations, such as Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon. This is due to the fact that the beautiful parks on the reservations are managed by the Native Americans (Navajo, Hualapai or others) and not directly by the National Park Service.
  • State Parks: Each state offers the possibility to buy a specific pass to visit these areas.

Here is a document that includes all the federal recreation areas and all national parks (natural and not) that can be visited with the America the Beautiful Pass (and also the information on where to buy it).

What does the America the Beautiful Pass offer?

  • Entrance to the U.S. National Parks for one car and all its passengers (up to 14 passengers) since the national park entrance fees are considered per vehiclewith the exception of the parks run by Native Americans and those few where there is an entrance fee is per person.
    In the latter case the America the Beautiful Pass will cover for a maximum of 3 adults in addition to the card holder: the others will have to pay the ticket. More information here (question 3 of the second section). This page of the official website explains in detail which Parks have a “per person fee” and which ones allow you to access with the “per vehicle fee”.
  • Possibility to return to a national park in the following days without having to pay again.
  • Possibility to give the pass to friends or third parties by putting their name on the back of the pass.
  • Valid for one year: the pass is valid from the first day of the month that it is purchased and it expires at the end of that same month the following year.

How to hand over the Pass to friends or third parties?

On the back of the pass you will find space for 2 signatures. The first one is for you, the second one is for the eventual future owner. The new owner will have to put his signature in the second space.

Where can you buy the America the Beautiful Pass?

  • At the entrance of any National Park. 
  • On REI

REI is an American retailer specialized in hiking and sports equipment. REI allows you to buy the national parks pass for the standard price ($79.99). While completing the purchase you will be asked how you prefer to receive the pass. You will have two different options:

  1. Shipment directly to your home (free shipping within the United States).
  2. Pickup at one of the REI stores in the USA (free). You can find the map of the REI stores at this link: as you will see many of the stores are located in the cities where you usually start the tour of the national parks.

If you decide to have the America the Beautiful Pass sent by REI not to your home, but directly to the first hotel on your road trip (or to the one that is most convenient), remember to write the name and address of the hotel for the shipment, and to inform the hotel in advance that they will receive a package for you (you can write directly to the hotel using the specific Booking contact form).

  • On Viator

You can also purchase your national parks pass online in advance on Viator. At the price of $79.99 you can receive the annual America the Beautiful Pass without any additional cost. The website offers free shipping by mail, and the delivery is very fast. It arrives with a brochure and a small plastic holder to keep it in the car.

  1. Write your shipping address in the additional notes (under “Special Requirements“) when purchasing the pass;
  2. When asked to select the number of adults, keep in mind that Viator refers to the number of vehicles. For example: if your group of friends is made up of 5 adults and you are all traveling in the same car, you will only have to buy 1 pass, then select “1 adult”;
  3. In the description you will see “Visit: Anhinga Trail, Everglades National Park, Florida”. Don’t worry: the pass is not just valid for Everglades and does not necessarily need to be “activated” in Everglades, although this specification may be misleading. You are purchasing a regular America the Beautiful Pass, valid for all national parks listed here.

You will receive a shipment confirmation within a few days from Viator’s customer service and, if you have any concerns, you can send an email with your questions. You will get a response within a few hours.