Get your lifetime pass before the price goes up.

By Melissa Locker
December 07, 2019
Allen Holder/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images

Senior citizens who plan on spending time in the Great Smoky Mountains or hope to explore the Everglades, should move quickly to buy a lifetime pass to the national parks, because soon you'll be paying a lot more money for the exact same pass.

Come August 28, 2017, the National Park Service's popular senior pass will jump in cost from $10 to $80. It's the first time the price has gone up since 1994, but it is a hefty increase and some seniors may not be able to afford it. If that's the case, seniors can purchase an annual pass for $20, and if they buy four of them in a row, they can trade their annual passes in for a lifetime pass. Think of it as a layaway plan for access to all the wonders that America's park system has to offer.

Anyone over the age of 62 is eligible for the $10 lifetime pass, and it means a lifetime of access to the Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas, Florida's Dry Tortugas National Park, and the chance to explore Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.

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As an added bonus, the pass also admits traveling companions for free. So grab your lifetime pass now and spend your retirement sharing your love of the South's great outdoors you're your bingo buddies, book club, church group, or even your grandchildren. Help the next generation learn to love the peace of the Blue Ridge Mountains in autumn, the Texas llano, and the Natchez Trace parkway—or use your park pass to find a little peace and quiet away from all that.

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