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This is confusing, I assumed that the annual pass would cover entrance to all National Parks. This page seems to agree with that, saying it is worth it if you visit 3 parks in 12 months, it doesn't say, 3 parks in the same 'park group'.

Do you plan to visit Grand Canyon National Park plus 2 more parks in the next 12 months?

Interagency Annual Pass (America the Beautiful Pass)

Cost: $80 annual pass

Available for: Everyone

Pass Usage Information:

Provides access to more than 2,000 recreation areas managed by six Federal agencies, with up to 100% of the proceeds being used to improve and enhance visitor recreation services.

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/fees.htm#options

But on another page it says

Annual Pass

For one national park or park group Valid for 1 year Directly funds the park Not available for every park

Recommended for

Multiple trips to one park One or more trips to one park group

https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm#park-groups

Other pages on the internet imply that a pass covers any national park, but maybe that is out-dated info?

I would like to visit Grand Canyon and the parks in Southern Utah.

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    The $80/year America the Beautiful pass covers all National Parks and a bunch of other stuff. There are cheaper options that cover one or a few parks that you would go to a lot in one year. Both called, confusingly, “Annual” passes.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Mar 14 at 1:38

1 Answer 1

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These are referring to two different types of pass.

The first is the America The Beautiful annual pass which gives unlimited access to all National Parks (and many other sites run by other government departments which is why it's sometimes referred to as an "Interagency Pass") for one year. These cost $80.

The second is a single park annual pass. These are offered by some (but not all) National Park sites, and give unlimited access to a single park for one year. The price of these vary depending on the park.

The single park annual passes are cheaper than the American The Beautiful pass, but at least for the popular parks (where the entrance fees are higher, and thus so are the annual pass fees) the difference is minimal. For example, an annual pass for Yosemite National Park is $70, whilst the America The Beautiful Interagency pass is $80. Unless you absolutely knew you were not going to any parks other than Yosemite it would obviously be silly to buy the cheaper one!

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