Many people love to visit the natural beauty and serenity of one of America’s National Parks or other Federal Recreational Lands. These areas are maintained by the National Park Service and are open to the public with the purchase of various types of passes. These passes are called “America the Beautiful Passes” and include annual passes, senior passes, access passes, and more. One of the pass types is a Military Pass that allows current U.S. military members, military veterans and Gold Star families a free annual pass.
Do National Parks offer a military discount?
Yes! The National Park Service does offer free annual passes to members of the military and their families, as well as to veterans and Gold Star families. These passes are good for entrance to National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands. You can find a list of all federal recreation sites that accept and issue the passes here.
Who qualifies for the discount?
- Current military members
- Military family members
- Gold Star Families
How do I qualify?
Any current member of the military, veterans or family members can obtain their free annual pass in-person at the federal recreation site they wish to visit. It is important to note that not all federal lands accept the passes, so a full list of the sites that do can be found here. When visiting, a Current US military ID must be shown.
Additional information on the National Park Military Discount
In general, military members, veterans and Gold Star Families will be able to show their pass or US military ID at the entrance stations of the national parks or federal lands they are visiting. However, in the event that the site does not have a particular entrance location, passes may be displayed in vehicles with the use of a rearview mirror hangtag or directly on the outside of vehicles with the use of a free decal. It also important to note that the pass will cover one non-commercial vehicle at any “per vehicle” sites, but will only cover the military ID card-holder at any “per person” sites.
To read more about the National Park Service military passes or to view their Frequently Asked Questions, click here.
More on the National Park Service
Every year the National Park Service works to create spaces and events for the enjoyment and education of communities around the nation. In operation since 1916, the National Park Service’s main goal is to safeguard and care for the nation’s national parks with the help of volunteers and local communities. They also serve as forces of revitalization to the tribes, local governments, nonprofits, and businesses where they operate.
The National Park Service has a long and fruitful history with the military, beginning with the establishment of the nation’s very first national parks. The National Park Service now seeks to preserve and share the stories of the American military through war parks and memorials.