Is An Annual National Park Pass Worth The Price?
As a full time traveling family we understand the importance of saving money, so when we got to our first National Park back in May of 2018 we decided to purchase an annual pass to the National Parks of the U.S.
How much is an annual National Park Pass?
At the time of this writing (and when we purchased ours in 2018), the cost for the annual pass is $80.
Is the price of $80 worth it?
This entirely depends on your personal use of the Annual Pass. For the Trippin Brehenys we found it to be more than worth the price. Here is the breakdown of the parks we visited and how much it cost to get into each one.
Badlands National Park – South Dakota: We purchased our annual pass upon entry for $80. Had we not purchased the pass it would have cost us $25. We spent three days and two nights inside the park. Now we just needed to make sure we got an additional $55 in value from other National Parks over the course of the year.
Yellowstone National Park – Wyoming: Cost to get in is $35 per vehicle or $70 for park specific annual pass. We spent the entire summer in Yellowstone working for Delaware North. Since we were employees inside the park we wouldn’t have had to pay the entry fee so we won’t count this into our savings.
Grand Teton National Park – Wyoming: The cost of vehicle entry is $35. We spent a day in the Grand Tetons. This now leaves us with $10 in fees needed to make the pass worth its money. This should be easy.
White Sands National Monument – New Mexico: The cost of vehicle entry is $20. The annual pass has now paid for itself and we are now $10 in the savings.
Bandelier National Monument – New Mexico: The cost of vehicle entry is $25. Total savings = $35.
Tent Rocks National Monument – New Mexico: The cost of vehicle entry is $5. Total savings = $40
Tent Rocks National Monument – New Mexico: This was so cool and close to where we were staying we had to do it twice. Total savings = $45
Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona: The cost of vehicle entry is $35. Total savings = $80
Zion National Park – Utah: Vehicle entry cost is $35. Total savings = $115.
Arches National Park – Utah: The cost of vehicle entry is $30. Total savings = $145.
Rocky Mountain National Park – Colorado: We are currently staying the summer in Colorado and have the remainder of May on our annual pass. We may end up visiting a couple more of the parks in the area but will definitely be seeing Rocky Mountain National Park before our pass expires. The cost of vehicle entry is $35. Total savings = $180
Cost of Annual National Parks Pass = $80
Cost of National Parks visited in 12 months without the pass = $260
Actual savings using the National Parks pass = $180
There you have it! The Annual National Parks Pass has more than paid for itself and we got to see some of our countries greatest assets.
For a complete list of fees and parks check out the National Parks Services’ Entrance Fees By Park.
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