Tag Archives: National Parks

PSA: National Park Passes Not Valid at Parks Operated by Contractors [Updated]

Update 8:15am PT on 11/14/17: Clearly I made a mistake and I apologize. I posted the information I received way too quickly and without verifying it. My friend read that though the senior pass is a good value, because there are fees and charges at parks operated by contractors that the passes don’t cover, it can add a lot of money to what might seem like a good deal. He misunderstood and thought entry fees weren’t covered at parks using contractors. When I received this information from him, it seemed like a good idea to let people know. But of course, it was wrong and the entry fee is indeed covered by the pass. It’s good to have readers who call you out on these kinds of mistakes!


Did you purchase a National Park Pass before the rates went up? If you did, or know anyone who has one, it’s important to remember this! Though the passes are valid at parks operated the National Park Service, they are NOT valid at parks operated by CONTRACTORS. One popular National Park that falls into this category is Yosemite. Always remember to check into this or you might be surprised when you’re asked to pay an entrance fee!

Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park. Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yosemite_National_Park