The National Parks Disability Pass offers entrance to all the US National Parks, Forests, and monuments throughout the USA and neighboring territories. With access to over 2,000 locations nationwide, this pass grants individuals with disabilities a lifetime of adventures you don’t want to miss.
How to get a National Parks Disability Pass:
The process for getting a National Park Access Pass (Access Pass is the specific name for the disability pass) can feel a little convoluted because the information isn’t organized neatly on one government website, but more pieced together on several different websites. The general requirements are that you need to have:
- A written letter by a medical provider proving the individual receiving the pass has a permanent disability.
- Government documented identification. If you’re getting the pass on behalf of a child, a birth certificate will suffice this requirement.
Once you have the proper documentation, the pass can be ordered online via this link. This option has a $10 processing fee and has a place at checkout for you to upload the proper documentation. You can also get the pass in person at a federal recreation site near you. For a full list of the federal recreation sites where passes are available, please visit this link.
Where to Use the National Park Access Pass:
The National Parks Access pass may be used at over 2,000 locations nationwide. The locations are not exclusive to just the National Parks, but most recreational lands owned by The Bureau of Land Management, The Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, and US Corps of Engineers. All locations specified on this link accept the Access Pass, if the location you’re wanting to visit is not shown in the list, look up the location on recreation.gov, or visit that location’s particular website and see if they accept the pass. Also try calling ahead of time to confirm.
Who can Use The National Park Access Pass?
While the access pass is for the child or adult with the disability who is entering the park, there are some benefits for those who are visiting with the disabled individual. The National Park Access Pass allows up to four individuals who are riding in the same car as the person with the disability to enter the park for free. If your party includes more than four people and more than one vehicle, you will have to pay the per person price for access individuals, and parking fees that would apply to that second car.
If you rode in a minivan that had 8 total people in it, the person with the disability and three other people would get in for free, you would not have to pay the parking fees for the mini van, but you would have to pay the per person price for park entrance for the remaining four people in the van.
Most Accessible National Parks:
While most National Parks have some amount of accessible trails and things for individuals with disabilities to participate in, some obviously have more accommodations than others. The below list of National Parks are well known for their disability services, and we’ve linked to their accessibility web pages for you to see their particular offered services, so you can make a decision as to whether or not that park will be a good fit for you and your family.
- Acadia National Park, Maine
- Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
- Great Sand Dunes National, Colorado
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
- Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
- Yellowstone National Park
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado
- Glacier National Park, Montana
- Sequoia National Park, California
- Everglades National Park, Florida
- Zion National Park, Utah
The National Park Access Pass is a great resource for individuals with disabilities to get outside and see some of the most amazing sites in our country. It’s a great way for individuals with disabilities, their family, and caretakers to create lasting memories for a lifetime.