posted 48 years ago by
Leatherback scratcher

Original thread archived here  

This is ongoing, so I thought I'd post a reminder of this great program. Link  

Hey fourth graders! See America’s natural wonders and historic sites for free. You and your family get free access to hundreds of parks, lands, and waters for an entire year.

Official rules

  • The pass is for U.S. fourth-grade (or home-school equivalent) students.
  • The pass is for the 2016 to 2017 school year. It expires August 31, 2017.
  • Students can't transfer the pass to anyone else.
  • We can’t accept electronic versions of this paper for access or to exchange for a pass.
  • No refunds are given for previously purchased passes, or if you forget your pass when you visit.
  • If you lose your pass, get a new one by visiting the website and signing up again.
  • Educators can get one paper pass for each of their fourth-grade students.
  • This program only provides passes for fourth graders.

How it works

  • Show your pass to a ranger when you enter. If there is no ranger, leave it on the dashboard of your car.
  • If you visit a site that charges entrance fees per person— The pass admits all children under 16 and up to three adults for free.
  • If your group visits a site that charges vehicle entrance fees - The pass admits all children under 16 and all adults in up to one passenger vehicle. Commercial vehicles can't use a pass to get in.
  • If you arrive at a site on bicycle— The pass admits all children under 16 and up to three adults on bicycles.
  • The pass doesn't cover things like parking fees, camping, boats, and special tours. Also, some sites are managed by private operators. They may not honor the pass. Check with the site ahead of time to find out.
  • The pass doesn’t cover fees for local, city, or state parks and recreation areas unless they say that they accept this pass.
  • Paper passes can be exchanged for plastic passes at certain sites.

Add Comment
Thanks for the reminder. Granddaughter is in 4th grade this year.

1.  Is there a quick way to find out in each state which Parks may have free entrance fees.

2.  In these free parks, Inside the park, is there like closed structures like museums explaining the uniqueness of the park.  or it is more like open shelters with may be camp grounds nearby.  Best to find near by hotels and go for a 2-3 hr visit type of deals.

3.   Is Grand canyon included ? Due to the high numbers, I know they use to have bussing during snow season and some times allow cars(100s of cars per hour snaking the route).  Cabins can be rented for the night inside the park if available.

4.  What activity can a  4th grader experience other than walk and enjoy the trees and the landscape going for acres and acres vs visioning your local county Park which is always free with play area for swing, walk, basketball etc you can visit within 10-20 min..  After driving for 5-8 hrs kids expectation may be high.

From what I can tell, ony educators can apply for the passes. It makes sense, from a fraud perspective, but it also means that if your teacher isn't interested in applying, your child won't get a pass.

it covers entrance fees, not anything else.
visit the websites to see what each park has...
some have online reservation camping, again check the websites
(camping was more fun at the parks vs. commercial, e.g. KOA with hot running water and electricity, we alternated to remain civilized)
check the websites for junior ranger activities
Last year, we went to badlands, yellowstone, glacier, crater lake, grand canyon, petrified forest, and great smoky mountains.

no, any 4th grade child of age can apply, no questions asked
the parks have always been an honor system, there are tons of idiots ignoring and disobeying the warning signs.

even if you don't have a 4th grader, an annual pass is a good bargain, senior pass is free, handicap pass is free

psxzombie said:   
even if you don't have a 4th grader, an annual pass is a good bargain, senior pass is free, handicap pass is free

The Senior pass is NOT free.  It's currently $10, however that is increasing to $80 very soon.  However that's $10/$80 for the rest of your life, so it's still a good deal.

For everyone else, a normal annual pass is $80 - still good value if you intend to access more than about 2 parks.

I pay for the parks and I need a fourth grader to get in free,  Does Trump know about this?

So what you are saying, is that I need to kidnap 4th graders? Seems kind of like more trouble than it is worth.... Then again this is an annual pass.

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