FREE national park passes for all veterans & Gold Star families

FREE national park passes for all veterans & Gold Star families
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Image Credit: U.S. Department of the Interior
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All veterans and Gold Star families can now enjoy free access to the iconic and treasured lands they fought to protect.
Clara Bosonetto | November 10, 2020

Enjoy America the Beautiful with free national park passes!

Veterans and Gold Star families will be granted free access to national parks, wildlife refuges and other Federal lands managed by the Department of the Interior starting on Veterans Day, November 11, and every day onward.

Entrance fees for the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and standard amenity recreation fees for the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Reclamation sites will be waived for veterans and Gold Star families.

That means free access to approximately 2,000 public locations spread out across more than 400 million acres of public lands, which host activities to fit any lifestyle — from serene to high octane, including hiking, fishing, paddling, biking, hunting, stargazing and climbing.

Many Department-managed lands have direct connections to the American military, such as frontier forts, Cold War sites, battlefields, national cemeteries and memorials.

These special places pay tribute to our veterans and serve as reminders of their courage and sacrifice throughout the history of our nation, from Minuteman National Historic Park where colonists stood in defense of their rights; to Yellowstone National Park, which was protected from vandalism and poaching by the 1st U.S. Cavalry before the National Park Service was established; to Mount Rushmore where modern warriors attend reenlistment ceremonies.

“With the utmost respect and gratitude, we are granting veterans and Gold Star families free access to the iconic and treasured lands they fought to protect starting this Veterans Day and every single day thereafter,” said Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt.

For the purposes of this program, a veteran is identified as an individual who has served in the United States Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves, and is able to present one of the following forms of identification:

Gold Star families are next of kin of a member of the United States Armed Forces who lost his or her life in a “qualifying situation,” such as a war, an international terrorist attack or a military operation outside of the United States while serving with the United States Armed Forces.

Meanwhile, the Department also offers free entrance days for everyone throughout the year to mark days of celebration and commemoration including the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., National Public Lands Day, Veterans Day and the signing of the Great American Outdoors Act.

Other free or discounted passes are available for persons with permanent disabilities, fifth-grade students, volunteers and senior citizens age 62 years or older.

Here’s the link to all of the national park passes available for all visitors.


See Clark’s travel planning and booking guide for the best tips on stress-free travel, and check out InsureMyTrip.com for travel insurance.

(Editor’s note: The travel industry is currently under great stress, and any money you pay now may be lost if companies go out of business. See more here.)
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