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can a national park annual pass save you money during your zion vacation

Can a National Park Annual Pass Save You Money During Your Zion Vacation?

by | Jan 31, 2023

Zion Wildflower Resort is a destination all its own. Our stunning resort offers a variety of amenities and on-site activities. Cool off with a dip in the pool or relax in the spa while taking in views of the red rock desert that surrounds you. Grab a bicycle and explore the resort and nearby town of Virgin. Challenge your friends to a game of ping pong, giant Jenga, or spike ball. Or, simply spend the afternoon snoozing in a hammock!

With so much to do, you might be tempted to spend your vacation relaxing at the resort! But, of course, one of the biggest reasons to visit Zion Wildflower Resort is the chance to experience one of the nation’s most incredible national parks!

Zion National Park is just a short drive away from the resort. This makes it easy to experience the park multiple times during your visit. If you’re planning to visit Zion for more than one day of your trip, or plan to visit other national parks during your stay, you might be wondering whether a national park annual pass could save you some money. Keep reading to find out, and to learn where you can purchase a pass during your visit.

How Much Does it Cost to Visit Zion National Park?

Whether you enter Zion National Park on foot, in a car, or on a bike, you will need to pay an entrance fee. The entrance fee that you will pay will vary depending on how you enter the park:

  • Private vehicle with 15 passengers or less: $35
  • Motorcycles: $30
  • If you’re entering on foot or with a bicycle, the fee is $20 per person. For those traveling with kids, keep in mind that anyone age 15 or younger can enter the park for free.

While these fees can seem high, it’s important to note that they actually get you entry to Zion National Park for seven consecutive days. So if you’re planning to visit the park multiple times during your week-long vacation, you’ll only need to pay your entrance fee once. Just make sure to hang onto your receipt!

Annual passes for Zion National Park are also available. These cost $70 and allow for entry for one vehicle for a full year. However, at just $10 more, an annual pass for the National Park Service may be the better option.

Is it Worth it to Purchase a National Park Annual Pass?

If you’re only planning to visit Zion National Park during your stay at Zion Wildflower Resort, you’ll likely save money by simply paying to enter the park. However, if you plan to visit Zion multiple times throughout the year, or plan to visit other national parks, a national park annual pass is a great way to save some money.

The National Park Service offers annual passes that allow entry into all national parks for one year. There are a variety of different types of passes available.

America the Beautiful Annual Pass

The only national park pass that’s available to anyone, the America the Beautiful Pass is the most popular option for visitors. For just $80, you’ll get access to hundreds of federal recreation sites, including all 418 national park sites and 61 national parks, for a full year.

Unlike other passes on this list, you don’t even have to be a citizen to purchase this pass. This makes it ideal for international visitors planning to see several parks during their vacation. 

The America the Beautiful Annual Pass can hold two cardholder names. The pass covers the vehicle fee or individual entrance fee for one cardholder and three passengers.

Annual Pass for U.S. Military

This annual pass offers all of the same benefits as the America the Beautiful Annual Pass but is available to current U.S. military members and their dependents in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. It is also available to those in the Reserves and the National Guard.

To obtain this pass, you’ll need to present a Common Access Card (CAC) or Military ID at any of the locations that issue national park passes.

Senior Pass

Available to any U.S. citizens or permanent residents aged 62 or older, the Senior Pass is available as a lifetime or annual pass. The Lifetime Senior Pass is $80, while the Annual Season Pass is $20. If you purchase four Annual Senior Passes and keep your cards, you can exchange them for a lifetime pass.

Annual Senior Pass holders also get other benefits, like a 50 percent discount on some amenity fees, like camping, swimming, boat launches, and more.

Access Pass

U.S. citizens and permanent residents with a permanent disability may be eligible for the Access Pass. The Access Pass provides all of the same perks and benefits as the Lifetime and Annual Senior Passes. In order to obtain this pass, you’ll need to provide documentation of a permanent disability, as well as your residency or citizenship.

Annual 4th Grade Pass

Another free pass is the Annual 4th Grade Pass. As part of the Every Kid in a Park initiative, U.S. 4th graders and home-schooled or free-choice learners who are 10 years of age can get a free annual pass good for entrance into all federal recreation sites that the America the Beautiful Annual Pass provides access for.

To get the 4th Grade pass, students and their parents need to go online to the Every Kid Outdoors website to print a paper pass. The pass can then be exchanged for a card at any park entrance that sells annual passes.

Purchasing a National Park Annual Pass for Your Zion Wildflower Stay

If you’re planning to visit other nearby national parks, like the Grand Canyon or Bryce Canyon, during your Zion Wildflower visit, a national park annual pass can be a great way to save some money. It also allows you to visit other national parks across the country free of charge for a whole year!

You can purchase your pass at the entrance to Zion National Park, or at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. Ready to start planning your next Zion adventure? Check out our lodging options to get started!

Wildflower Blog

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