In case nobody ever told you, America is beautiful. Very bloody beautiful! If you don’t believe me just look out your window next time you ride the Amtrak. It’s so vast and varied you can be in a different climate and geography from one day to the next!

However, getting out into the real America and seeing its beauty for yourself is not always so easy. This is presumably why they (who exactly is ‘they’? Know knows!) created the ‘America, The Beautiful Pass‘ to help us all out.

Offering access to over 2,000 national parks and areas of beauty, the ‘America, The Beautiful pass’ makes the ideal gift for any American who wants to discover their own country and do it properly! In this post, we will tell you all about the pass including where to buy it and how to use it.

Grand Canyon Village

What Is the ‘America The Beautiful Pass?

The ‘America, The Beautiful pass’ is an annual pass that grants the holder access to over 2,000 recreation destinations including many of the US’s most incredible National Parks and national wildlife refuges. As well as that it also offers access to national forests, national grasslands, and other lands overseen by the Bureau of Land Management, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Bureau of Reclamation.

So it’s kind of like being a VIP member of America! Pretty bloody epic right!

Its an inter-agency pass that covers entrance and standard day-use fees for *almost* all parks and/or recreation areas managed by six of our favourite federal agencies: the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

Basically, these agencies put their differences aside, got together and decided to create One Pass that lets the good people of America into all of the sites they manage.

Note: The pass only covers entrance fees and does not permit the holder to free camping parking or food – amenities like this still need to be paid for.

You may also wish to keep in mind that State Parks are not included in this. It only covers Federal Lands and State Authorities do their own thing.

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Where Can I Go With the ‘America The Beautiful’ Pass?

As we said, the pass permits the holder access to parks and/or recreation areas managed by the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This includes all 423 of the National Parks in the USA.

Four Mile Trail, Yosemite
source: christian_b (Shutterstock)

Specifically, let’s look at some of the places you can visit using the pass;

As you can see, these are some world class destinations that attract millions of visitors each year from all over the US and the world. But, these are just a handful of the 2,000+ sites which the pass permits the holders access.

How Much Does an America The Beautiful Pass Cost?

The face value of the pass is $80. (A steal!)

It remains valid for 12 months from the date of issue AND each pass can have 2 owners which means it can admit 2 people into each park. As such it’s a great investment for couples, best bro’s and folk duo’s who want to explore America together.

However, some Americans are also entitled to discounts on the face value of the pass. For example, Seniors pay just $20 for an annual pass or $80 for a lifetime pass. Military Service personnel get it for free as does anybody registered as disabled.

  • Is the America The Beautiful Pass Good Value?

Hell yes. Consider it like this, most National Parks charge an entrance fee of $15 per person (for pedestrians, cars are usually extra). When I visited California with my girlfriend in 2018, we paid $15 EACH to enter Yosemite and then $30 each a week later to enter Joshua Tree. Basically, in just 7 days we had spent the cost of the pass.

As such, anybody who is even halfway serious about getting outdoors will find this pass to be an amazingly great value purchase.

  • Where Does the Money Go?

The fees for the pass go back to the 6 agencies who collaborated to create it. As such, the money goes towards protecting and preserving the beautiful, natural landscapes of America. Which for us is such a bonus and protecting the environment is super important for us, especially when we travel.

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Where Can I Buy an America The Beautiful Pass?

There are a number of sale points available from where you can pick up an ‘America, The Beautiful Pass‘ but the easiest and fastest way is to buy it from REI by hitting the button below.

REI Membership

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REI Logo. (PRNewsFoto/REI)

If you are reading this then it’s safe to presume that, like us, you are serious about exploring the great outdoors. If that is the case then you really ought to consider treating yourself to an REI Membership card too.

REI is perhaps the biggest retailer of outdoor gear in the United States and can provide everything you need to hit the National Parks from hiking boots to tents, to ready-made camping meals. REI membership costs just $30 for life and entitles members to the following benefits;

  • 10% on most products
  • The right to “trade-in used gear” for vouchers
  • Discount gear rentals
  • Access to the awesome REI member forum and e-community

Like with ‘The America pass‘, we feel it’s an excellent investment that pays for itself very quickly. And again, some of the sale proceeds go back to protecting and preserving the great outdoors of the USA. Bonus!

Final Thoughts

Come on man, if you live in or are even visiting the US and plan to hit some National Parks then it’s a real no-brainer! Get this pass and for just $80 you have unlimited, 12-month access to over 2,000 incredible locations. From wandering around the awe-inspiring Arches National Park to witnessing old faithful in Yellowstone National Park, it’s all covered on this one ticket!

You can pick up the pass by hitting the button below and being taken to the REI store. And why pick up a membership card whilst you’re there?


Thanks for reading – that was fun! 😀

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